"Secret skimping is out, like false bosoms." - Marjorie Hillis, Orchids on Your Budget, 1937.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

It's business time.

I know everyone must be on pins and needles waiting to hear whether or not I accepted the offer, well SURPRISE (or not!), I did. It's not that I'm thrilled with the new position, because I'm not, and I don't have to be; it's a temporary stop-gap.

I gave my three-weeks notice on Friday, February 12th. I laughed (not really), cried (yes, I did), and finally AWKWARDLY announced my exit. I know it's incredibly unprofessional to cry at work - in front of your boss, no less - but I was overcome with all this intense emotion, it just kind of started out of nowhere. But I never claimed to posses elegance or grace.

I know so far I've mentioned a lot of negatives about my new position, but here are the positives:
  • Two-block commute. Literally.
  • Normal bosses. So far, so good.
  • Possibly every other Friday off.
  • Free dental.
  • MUCH more interaction with actual people, instead of the usual basement-dwellers. (Yes, we work in a basement.)
I can live with that for at least 6 months, I think.

To make the transition even more awkward, I'll say this: I'm looking for a replacement, so if you're in the Boston area and you're reading this, and you think you might be interested, email me (ekingout AT gmail DOT com), and we'll see what happens. No promises, because shit's complicated.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Presidents' Day Breakfast

I have the day off work today, so I took some time to prepare a nice breakfast for myself. Can I just say that I love eating a meal that leaves me feeling satisfied, balanced, and energized? Because I do. Here are a couple of my favorite breakfasts that make me feel good for multiple hours (no pictures, because I didn't have the foresight over the last week to take any):

Breakfast 1
-1/4 cup (dry) toasted buckwheat (aka kasha), salted
-2 slices of turkey bacon
-1 white grapefruit

Make kasha, fry turkey bacon, chop up, and add to kasha. Eat grapefruit separately (der). Did you know that buckwheat really isn't a wheat product at all, but is closely related to rhubarb and sorrel instead? Plus, it's got lots of protein and fiber. The more you know.

Breakfast 2
-1/2 cup (dry) steel-cut oatmeal, salted
-1 oz reduced-fat white cheddar cheese (Cracker Barrel is the best)
-liberal splash of Tabasco (regular)
-can of tomato juice

Make oatmeal, turn off heat, add cheese and Tabasco. Drink tomato juice separately.

You'll notice a pattern here. I'm of the savory school of breakfast. I like my oatmeal like I like my grits: cheesy and Tabascoy. I put Tabasco on everything, by the way. It's a sickness.

Breakfast 3
-Fiber One cereal with skim milk
-2 hard-boiled eggs

Now, this one doesn't taste the best, and it could use some fruit or veg, but it's quick. I think Fiber One would win a lot more fans if it removed the aspartame from the recipe. As for the eggs, I could eat hard-boiled eggs all day. With Tabasco.

You'll notice I didn't include any breads here. I love Ezekiel bread, toasted of course, but no matter what I slather on it - peanut butter, almond butter, butter butter - it never sticks around past 9:30, so it's just not a great breakfast idea for me.

What are some of your favorite hearty breakfasts?

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Holy shit, y'all. Remember all my it's-now-or-never, throwing-caution-to-the-wind-and-not-looking-back, I'm-young-and-I'm-free-and-I'm-JUMPING-with-or-without-a-net proclamations?


And just in time for my 100th post, no less.

I feel not at all unlike Jessie Spano in her classic "I'm so excited! I'm so excited! I'm so... scared" freak out. And just to clarify, I'm excited to be leaving this place, and scared of the possibility that I'm trading a not good known quantity for an even shittier situation.

The deets: The field is just different, not more interesting - it's not my dream field. The pay is hourly, as opposed to salary. I get paid less than I do now. My health insurance costs will be deducted from my paycheck, as opposed to being paid in full by my employer. I get a week less vacation.

Maybe I'm crazy to be considering this job (considering it seems that I'm losing much more than I'm gaining). Or maybe I'm crazy not to have accepted right away (considering that there's a chance I may not be miserable there, whereas I know for a fact that I will continue to wallow in misery if I stay here). I have until tomorrow to think about it, whereupon I will give notice (and yes, I'm hyperventilating just thinking about it), or not. I would love... LOVE any input.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Item 3 of 3

Item 3. I've decided to pick up photography as a hobby.

When I said I had no interests of which to speak, I wasn't kidding. It was never that I was too afraid to pursue my interests -- I just never had any. Personal finance, sure. I like numbers, but only in theory; I'm terrible at math. I love jewelry, but I think the amount/kind of interest I have in it is unhealthy, and it has more to do with consumption than with appreciation. I used to like drawing in middle school, but I don't feel compelled to do it anymore. I've mentioned painting before, but it never felt quite right.

Anyway, at some point during all the initial wedding planning (December, probably?), I was scouring the internet for a wedding photography. My mind must've been silently plotting without my knowledge, because all of the sudden, out of nowhere, on a random day in January, I said to myself, "I SHOULD DO THAT." And by "THAT", I don't necessarily mean wedding photography, but I would be remiss if I didn't follow this urge to see where it goes. Then I remembered how much I enjoyed my first little digital point-and-shoot, and I wonder why I hadn't thought of this before. I've never felt so compelled to do something before, so not following it isn't an option. I'm buying a camera this month.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Item 2 of 3

Item 2. We've canceled the wedding.

Or more accurately, we've canceled the wedding we were planning. We're still getting married, but sooner, and in front of fewer people. In light of my decision to give notice with or without anything in my back pocket, we could not rationally have a "normalish" wedding.

The event we were originally planning was for 75 or so people in October with a reception and minimal catering. We didn't think we could make that happen for less than about $10k, all told. I haven't toiled at a hateful job since I graduated just to throw it all away on a party. I was sick over it. So we made our small wedding even smaller. We canceled our original venue and ate the loss on our deposit (the jury's still out though on how "non-refundable" it is, we'll see).

The new venue is on city property, for which we only need a permit and about 20 rented chairs, and we've bumped it up to May (no, I'm not pregnant -- this is literally the first question everyone asks). We're still getting the rabbi, but instead of a reception, we're just going to have a lunch at a restaurant nearby. We've reserved a large room there at no charge, and we'll set up a little cake and probably imbibe in some champagne and other celebratory victuals. As for the dress, I'll try to find a $99 one at DB, and he'll get a free tux rental. While we're going outside the norm somewhat, I have decided that I still want to wear a white dress.

You may have noticed that our new wedding date hovers suspiciously close to my last day of work. We're sensible people, and since I've had some health issues in the past, I know it's nearly impossible for me to find fair (or ANY) health insurance coverage, so we're going to add me to his plan he has through his employer. Not cheap, for sure, but probably the best way to go for now.

And don't even get me started on the name-change question.

Item 3 tomorrow!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Item 1 of 3

As promised, I'm spilling regarding some recent [mostly mental] developments. I'm divvying them up into 3 separate posts so as not to blow your mind:

Item 1. I'm quitting my job.

No, I didn't get another job. I've been sending out resumes, yes, but I haven't gotten one bite. And no, I'm not in the most comfortable position financially, but no matter how much uncertainty I'm barrelling toward (head on, in fact), nothing would be more detrimental to my career and my heath than staying in my current job. That's the truth.

I've learned things from my first real job -- mostly what NOT to do, so I am grateful for that. However, I have also become so jaded, apathetic and STUPID, and I cannot allow it to continue poisoning myself and others (figuratively, of course) another day. Well, another day past my 26th birthday, which I've decided should be my very last day.

I'm giving notice on March 12. I'm still applying for jobs, but I will give notice whether or not I've received another offer.

I'm scared. I'm exhilarated.

More tomorrow -- same time, same place.

Monday, February 1, 2010

February 2010 Net Worth

Emergency Fund: $2,351.29
Checking: $2,064.26
Wedding Fund: $472.71
Misc. ING Funds: $56.41
Roth IRA: $6,991.58 (out of the $7,300 I've invested so far)
401k: $4,439.32
Sharebuilder: $36.99 (out of $50 initial investment)
Amex Gift Card: $55.00
Total Positive: $16,467.56

Rent: $850
Groceries/Utilities: $PAID
Doctor Bills: $125.00
Phone: $PAID
Subway Pass: $59
Credit cards: $691.23
Student Loan I: $7,745.57 (from over $19k)
Student Loan II: $0
Total Negative: $9,470.80

Total Net Worth: +$6,996.76

Despite the fact that my retirement accounts were pummeled last month, I still managed a small increase in my net worth. It's no time for celebration though, because I need more, and faster, please.

I've decided to sell a few more pieces of jewelry on ebay. I spent yesterday morning making 6 listings. Not only is it a huge pain in the ass, but unless you're a super established seller or selling a big-name item, it's difficult to find buyers, even if you've got great pictures and a tiny starting price. For that reason I've only put up a few things that I think have a good chance of selling, and I'm going to bring the rest to my mom who will sell them for me at the consignment shop she frequents. I'll only see half the sales proceeds, but people expect to pay more in person than online anyway.

I have a couple things to report, so I'll be back soon to spill. Hope everyone has as happy (ha!) Monday.