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Archive for December, 2012

Marriott

December 18th, 2012 at 04:59 am



DH has stayed 112 nights in Marriotts this year.
And they have been good in rewarding us.

These are the FREE stays we had in 2012 (they are not counted in those 112):
Philadelphia Marriott Downtown
Renaissance Westchester Hotel
JW Marriott Hotel Beijing
Courtyard Shanghai Puxi
Shanghai Marriott Hotel City Centre
Shanghai Marriott Hotel City Centre again
The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo
Residence Inn New Rochelle
Orlando World Center Marriott
Vail Marriott Mountain Resort (7 nights)
converted Marriott points to 50,000 Delta points

Still have good chunk of points left and have already booked another week in Vail.

Leisure stays we paid for with money because the rate was great and we did not want to use points:
The Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia
Mansion on Forsyth Park, Autograph CollectionŽ
Orlando Marriott (second room for MIL who helped with baby)

And sometimes I joined DH when he was traveling for work:
JW Marriott Washington, DC
Washington Marriott
Augusta Marriott at the Convention Center
Mansion on Forsyth Park, Autograph CollectionŽ
Orlando Marriott

It almost feels like Marriott is our second house this year. And their rewards program enabled us to travel much more than we could otherwise.

Second primary school attack

December 16th, 2012 at 01:43 am

It happened just hours before, on the same day!
Another subhuman piece of sh*t walked into an elementary school determined to kill as many children as possible. Exact same scenario. Only one difference -- that country has strict gun control laws.

http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/14/world/asia/china-knife-attack/index.html?fb_action_ids=4587004826867&fb_action_types=og.recommends&fb_source=aggregation&fb_aggregation_id=288381481237582

Look at the outcome.

To those who say "guns don't kill people, people kill people" I would say "guns enable people who want to kill other people to do it with extreme ease, scale and efficiency". If the guy in China had a semi-automatic, what would the headlines be saying today? I wonder why they don't cover both stories on the same day, side by side.

That was pretty epic!

December 13th, 2012 at 03:40 pm

6 hours of legends, and I knew most of the songs (I did not know I would). That was the mother of all concerts.

Bruce Springsteen is hot. Him and Bon Jovi performing together.... wow!!!

Everyone else was amazing too. The Who, Billy Jowel, Eric Clapton, Chris Martin, Eddi Veder, Roger Waters, Paul McCartney with Nirvana... And they did so many songs(except Nirvana)! It was like most of them gave mini concerts! It just kept going and going!
If I were to go to only one concert in 10 years, that was the one to go to.

Being able to see events like this one reminds you of benefits of being a New Yorker!

It ended at 1:30 (6 hours! wow!) by the time we got home it was like 2:15 (takes time to get out of the Madison Square Garden and get to your car). And asleep after 3. Today look like something the cat dragged out and really wish I could sleep in. But no chance of that, adult life and responsibilities. (those responsibilities is what allowed us to buy $1,000 for tickets in the first place, so I will tough it out today).

Dental cost and random stuff

December 5th, 2012 at 06:00 pm

So I was planning allocation for FHSA for our family for next year (enrollment is now). I called dental office to inquire how much would out of pocket costs be if one has to get a crown. She said typically the insurance cover about 50%, the crown is $950, plus whatever deductible, so she estimated over $500 Trying to find what said deductible might be, I looked up our insurance benefit explanation sheet. To my surprise, they cover 100%, and $0 deductible. I am quite pleased. Pays to check.

Though it makes me think -- someone in a low level job who can least afford to pay so much for dental care would have to pay this, or even an entire amount if they don't have dental ins, and someone with a decent job is getting further ahead by getting spared these expenses, and they do add up over the years. It is not only that some people earn less money, but that it costs them more to live (this is an example).

I'm looking forward to our concert. Though I couldn't help looking it up on craigslist, and if I wanted to sell our 2 tickets, I could make $700 profit. I won't, but I won't lie I was tempted for a minute. But this is the problem - part of the reason these tickets are so hard to get is that others are scouting them.

Bought a new song on itunes today - Laura Gibson's Lil' Red Riding hood (I liked it from Volvo commercial).

No luck fighting my most unhealthy addiction - Almond croissant from Pret in the morning. If I could give it up... but in the mornings my will power is weak, I'm sleepy and need something nice to start my day.

The most expensive concert tickets I've ever bought!

December 3rd, 2012 at 09:28 pm

An update - after trying for 3 hours (both me and DH trying since the 9 am pre-sale start), we saw one set of tickets available - but for $2,500 per ticket, so $5,000 for pair, and I had the will power to pass on it. That was just too much - I can do a kitchen bench and new counter tops for that amount.

I kept trying, and after one hour more, we saw $500 tickets. We decided to go for it. I know it A LOT of money, but this is our one concert in I don't know how long. It is a unique experience, and proceeds go to Sandy victims.

Yep, $1000 for 2 tickets blows our monthly "common entertainment" category out of the water. And of course, if we are paying that much, might as well go out and make a full evening out of it.

I consider it our 5th anniversary gift to each other(even though it was about 2 months ago). We did not do anything special than, but we are doing it now.

Unplanned, but I really want those tickets!

December 3rd, 2012 at 03:09 am

I don't typically go to concerts, but this is too good to pass up. How often do you see a lineup like this:

Bon Jovi
Dave Grohl
Billy Joel
Alicia Keys
Paul McCartney
Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
Eddie Vedder
Roger Waters
Kanye West
The Who
and now rumored -- The Rolling Stones!

I want those Sandy relief concert tickets for Madion Square Garden. It will be tough, because I won't be home when they go on sale and I'll have to try and to it from iPad. I don't know if I have even a chance to snag cheaper seats. (The range is $150-$2,500). And of course, I want to go with my husband. This is one of those unplanned things, but also a very rare chance, and I really want to be a part of it!

But there is only so high I will go in price Frown So I really hope luck is on my side tomorrow and I can grab 2 affordable seats before they are gone. I'm really excited.