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Archive for December, 2007

Grocery update

December 31st, 2007 at 04:11 am

$39 at Fairway - 3 yogurts, 4 jars of my favorite salsa (I never saw it for less than $5, and here it was for 3.69), one small star fruit, 1.5 lb of coffee, 1 pack of flatbread.

Than at liquor store - $38 champagne, $12 cherry liquor, $1.5 kaluah sampler bottle

Had dinner with friends and they treated us.

Now I will try to clean up for the New Years eve. Tomorrow I need to get a very fancy meal for new years. And it can't be takeout - has to be something special.
And find a gift for my mom. All after work.

Grocery shopping log

December 26th, 2007 at 07:55 pm

I am not one of those people who can shop for a week ahead - most of the food would go to waste:
1) Plans change too fast - we find ourselves going out with friends frequently and on the spur of the moment. Food spoils.
2) We shop in better supermarkets that are not one-stop shops.
3) I go shopping on foot often due to problems with parking near stores. Besides, being born and raised in the city, I find driving for 4 blocks ridiculous.

So I buy a little every few days.

I will keep track of it. I find it fascinating how other people do it so I'll share my info.

Today:
7 oz box of raw sliced almonds $5.98
2 small grapefruits $1
1 mango $1.99
6 oz pack goji berries in yogurt $9.98
(just to see what all the hype is about)
10 oz grape tomatoes $1.99
0.22 lb fresh goat cheese $2.42
1 lb strawberries $2.99
Marinated olives with jalapeņo stuffing $2.02
Small pumpernickel hero $0.75
0.5 lb rare roast beef $5.93
7 oz baby spinach $3.93

total with tax: $39.88

And tonight we are eating out with friends (Sichuanese hotpot).

"buy" list

December 25th, 2007 at 02:13 am

While I am all for control spending, there is stuff I want to buy. It is not impulse stuff - I want these things for a while before deciding to get them
The difficulty is in finding a good value and research on non-electronic items. (those I need to touch to evaluate)

On my list are:

1) two really nice down pillows
2) a new down comforter (different size) and I am not so happy with the old one.
So hard to shop for it - very expensive at physical stores - pillows 160$ each and comforter over $400 in Bloomingdales... But you can't feel it on websites.

3) a stylish but roomy black purse
4) black ankle boots
5) a winter brown or ivory skirt to go with my brown suede boots


Can't get my password!

December 22nd, 2007 at 04:05 am

I have requested password reset to be sent to my email 20 times already during the last month and nothing ever arrived to my inbox.

I am still logged in on this computer, but once it will ask me to sign in again, there won't be anything I can do.


Horrible emergency room experience

December 10th, 2007 at 04:27 pm

I went to the emergency room with my aunt - she got there at 6:30pm, and we were seen by a doctor at 1am. (She had fractured fumeral neck).
I was appalled on how many people have not been seen yet and were crying and screaming while the staff stood around discussing adjustable rate mortgages and joking around with each other.

It is an emergency room! These people are not there waiting for haircuts!

I was able to get a doctor to see my aunt only by chance - when I heard one of the black doctors speak Chinese to a nurse, I came over and talked to him in Chinese also (and I am not Asian). They started to talk to me - where I'm from, how come I speak it, where do I work... etc. At that point of establishing human contact I was able to get them to look at my aunt. At that point it turned out she was not in the computer and they did not even know she was there! (she was in the computer in the waiting room).

Also recently a friends mother, who has cancer that was blocking the intestant or something like that had trouble passing stool. When it got really bad (her not able to go for few days) her doctor sent her to the emergency room. While she was waiting (for about 9 hours also) it ruptured, and waste went into her blood. She begged and begged for help, yet was ignored by the staff. After they finally got to her, she was rushed from the exam room to the surgery immediately, and they did not expect her to survive. She spend hours in this condition with no help. If they saw her in time, this would not have happened.

I want to know what I can do if me or someone I love is in a situation where emergency care is necessary???
What should we do to get it before condition deteriorates? I need a contingency plan!

I just can't say no to travel spending!

December 6th, 2007 at 03:46 pm

When we came back two weeks ago from Argentina (now, that the last charges have posted it turned out to cost close to 10K) I thought that this is it for a while, that now I would save to build back the reserve.

But it did not turn out that way at all. Next week we are going to Las Vegas. With one ticket(second one was free) and 4 night hotel stay it is already over 1K - and we have not left yet.

We also were on a waiting list for a ski trip to Vermont - and now there are seats, and we are going. It is a good deal, but it will be 1.3K minimum again.

Plus, our friends are organizing ski trips of their own...

Plus we were planning a trip to Honduras (frequent flier miles, but have to pay for diving and hotel)

And, my miles expire by September, so we'll go to Florida I guess. (We don't have enough to go further)

And we booked our hotel in Paris already.

I love travel, but lately I was not able to save anything besides retirement and have gone through my reserves. It makes me uncomfortable. But I don't know what to cut. Each trip is different.

Car repairs and emergency fund.

December 4th, 2007 at 03:30 pm

This time it is $400 - to replace the timing belt and some water pump or other... The heat is blowing weirdly.
Sucks! It is a very unrewarding way to spend money.

But it made me think of people who say that car repairs "it couldn't have come at a worse time"(Like there is ever a good time to be separated from your hard earned cash?) and blame car repairs for their financial struggles.

I suppose in the grand scheme of things it is ok because we have the money and it won't put us in trouble. Though it sucks!

But it is common logic, unfortunately: if you have a car it will at some time need repairs. Guaranteed. If you have teeth, you will need to see the dentist, if you have a house, something will need to be fixed sooner or later. Nothing is eternal. Some people can't get that and never have money set aside for these inevitable things.

Disappointing restaurant outing

December 3rd, 2007 at 04:44 am

50$ meal was much worse than I remember it. (and we got too much food somehow too)
Half the food was left and I refused to take leftovers home. (I just did not want to eat it, not even tomorrow)

This sucks - this place used to be better. Frown

I hate this feeling of wasting money. (if the food was good, I would not feel this way)