Dec 29, 2008

The last year

2008 is almost over. Here's the part where I go: WOW! I can't believe this year is over already, it went so fast! Cliche's, but truth, at least from my perspective. It seems like I just got used to remembering to start putting 08 on my checks instead of 07. I reached all of my financial goals for this year awhile back, and I'm trying to cook up some good ones for 2009. In the meantime, I will serve you another cliche: a "memories" post. Some of my best memories and accomplishments (as well as some random stuff) from the last year include:

-i got (and later left) a new job
-accumulated a grand total of three new scars
-saw a soap lady
-discovered Lost in Paris
-got accepted into grad school
-bought the bassist of Lost in Paris a shot for his birthday
-ran in my first 5K race
-gambled in a casino
-visited a Polish shrine
-performed in my first bellydancing recital
-saw my grandfather for the first time in 15 years
-took a road trip to FL with my best friend
-swam in the Gulf of Mexico
-gave blood for the first time (and almost passed out in the process hehe)
-said goodbye to the place where I worked for the last seven years
-saved over $9,000!
-got something I always wanted :-)
-taught my first ever class!
-voted for Obama
-had 3 flat tires
-realized I am braver than I thought
-finally learned how to cook
-finished my first semester of grad school!!

hopefully next year is just as good (or even better!) :-)

Dec 21, 2008

Philly Reunion

Yesterday I went down to Philly to have a little reunion with all my best friends from Millersville. First, we went to the Flyers game... best game I've seen in a long time. We scored SEVEN goals to the Caps' one, our goalie Nitty made some beautiful saves, and we had a fake hat trick and a real one. Plus it was good "old time hockey"-- there were about two fights a period. It was fun too because we sat in the very last row at the top... the nosebleed section for sure. But at least the tickets were only $45!

After the game we went over to Jacqui's beautiful new apartment (the view out the windows is gorgeous!) and just hung around all night. Our friend was coming home from his grad school in Montreal, so we went to pick him up at the train station around 2am, then picked up Jacqui's roommate in Center City. Can you say clown car? We had seven people stuffed into Jacqui's tiny Jetta... probably the most amusing car ride ever.

Basically, the whole day/night was a blast. Getting so have everyone together again was completely awesome-- it's so good to be around my real friends. Sorry, but my grad school friends just aren't even close to being that great.

Dec 18, 2008

I survived!

I just survived my first semester of grad school!! I am super relieved and super proud. I graded all my students' finals and put in their grades yesterday (and had to turn down a few students who were grovelling for some extra points last-minute). This morning I turned in my last paper, packed up, and drove home. I get to stay home for about three weeks. I am so happy to be home and to have a chance to relax... I need a mental break from school life for awhile. It will be a little weird though, because this is the first break I've had from school where I didn't have to work. I've already got a lot of fun things planned for the break though, so it should be a good one.

Dec 11, 2008

Christmas Shopping- Check!

So all my Christmas shopping is finally finished! I was even full of energy the other night around 11 or so, and wrapped most of the gifts. The only things left are to finish wrapping, mail out cards to the friends I won't get to see, and then kick back and RELAX! I'm not going to share the total "damage," but I will let you know I was WAY under budget, which was nice. The extra money is already spent though... a friend invited me to a Flyers game the weekend I come home for break, which is going to be a bit costly (but completely worth it!).

Dec 4, 2008

Lessons Learned?

Our department is looking for another linguistics professor, and this week we had two guys come and give mock teaching demonstrations and job talks. It's really interesting to be a part of this process and see it from both sides. We have a little bit of a say in who we like and who we want to come here, and it's definitely a learning experience to watch what the candidates have to do. If I go through with the Phd program and try to get a job as a professor, this is the kind of thing I would have to do to get a job. Certainly more stressful than a normal interview!

Oh, and AES put my loan into deferrment AGAIN. Despite my nasty letter telling them never to do that in the future without my prior approval. Apparently my wishes mean nothing. This time I'm done fighting though; I'm so over it (kind of). I'll just keep sending my payments in as usual. *Sigh*

Dec 2, 2008

Christmas Shopping

Well Christmas is coming up, and this holiday seems to be really tough for a lot of my fellow personal-finance bloggers. It's always frustrating trying to balance great gift giving with staying within a budget and feelings of frustration at the commercialization of it all with the urge to find that perfect present that the person will fall in love with.

I really love buying presents for my family and friends, even though I get annoyed at everything Christmas a lot of the time. So far I already found presents for my mom, dad, sister and brother, and spent about $110. I'm really excited about the gifts I got for them, and I think they're pretty creative. I would tell you guys what I bought, but somehow my sister found this blog even though I never told anyone about it, and figured out it was me! I only have a few more presents to get for some friends, and then I can avoid all the stores until after the holiday. I hope to spend no more than $300 total, but I think I'll definitely be under that.