May Review and June Goals

I got a lot of stuff accomplished in May, just a few things left over (below), which I'm pushing to June.

  • Schedule appointment w/gyno
  • Buy plane tickets to New York
  • Put purses/clothes up for sale on ebay
  • Buy summer school books (once I figure out my classes)
  • Figure out what to get for M and my dad - both of their b-days are the first week of June
June Goals
  • Yoga 2x/week
  • Gym 2x/week
  • Personal Training 1x/week
  • Get Offer to Rent signed & then hire movers
  • Try to have a good time in Arizona
  • Get moved in and unpacked

Feeling Better

Thanks for all the comments on the previous post everyone. :) M was able to get off work at a normal time yesterday and we went to dinner and had a good talk. He also took today off, and we had a fun morning and now he's helping me clean the house. (We both keep getting a little sidetracked, but at least we had good intentions :p)

A couple of things I wanted to respond to:

Miss M said: "Even when they aren't working their tails off I find it hard to convince a guy that household chores are worthy of their attention."

Yeah, I completely agree. He just doesn't think it's important (for either of us). As long as there are clean clothes, and one clean cup and plate... It's not something he thinks or cares about, and he doesn't understand why I obsess over it. Why are so many men like this?? I don't enjoy cleaning, but I also don't feel right unless it gets done.

Paranoidasteroid and Shtinkykat suggested we get a maid..... which I think is a good idea. Even just once a month would be great (to deep clean the bathroom and kitchen -- I draw the line at cleaning the bathroom (other than the counters) and the grossness that develops in the toilet/shower drives me crazy).

Kristy said: If talking to him doesn't help the situation, you may be faced with the hard decision of whether or not you see this relationship going anywhere. As I said, you clearly have different values. And communication seems to be a problem in that you talk, but he doesn't seem to be willing to compromise. Sometimes you just have to move on. Good luck with whatever you decide!

I realize that my readers' understanding of my relationship only comes from what I type (and my post was very negative), but this seems an overly harsh comment. He and I have been together for 5 years - would you say something like that to a married couple? The only difference between a married couple and us is a piece of paper. And though I occasionally need to rant, he and I do love each other, and he's been extremely supportive of me during the hell-that-is-law-school.

We've never had a problem communicating or compromising, which is probably why I'm struggling with the fact that he feels unable to compromise right now. He said he does miss spending time with me, but he's in the home stretch and he needs to give the project his all.

He's very ambitious, and he really cares about his job and the work product. It is admirable, and I am trying to be understanding. It helps that this never happens more than 4 months out of a year (that's his "crunch time") - the hours are much longer this time around because he's been promoted. So, I'm just going to try to work through my frustration by focusing on learning as much as I can at my job, exercising, studying, reading, seeing friends... and before I know it, he'll be done. ;)

I have something else to look forward to in August - he suggested we go on a vacation to New York! It was really nice hearing a suggestion like that come from his lips for once. ;) So, no more Europe, but a satisfactory substitute. I can't wait! :)


Feeling kind of depressed today. I've mentioned before that M (my boyfriend) has been working non-stop for the past 2 months. It's been midnight every day for awhile, and the past couple weeks that's bled into the weekend too. I can't remember the last time we had a full weekend together.

He works in the entertainment industry, and they have a project deadline coming up in July... I thought he would be done done in July, but now he tells me he'll have to keep pushing forward through August (at which point he can work "normal" hours again - although who knows what normal is to him at this point!).

Because he comes home so late, he does nothing when it comes to household chores - all of it falls to me. We kind of have an arrangement (which began to take form after I downgraded to working part-time last summer) in which he pays for all the food and I take care of things around the house. I was ok with doing it when I was going to school and working minimal hours (despite not having a domestic bone in my body, I even kind of enjoyed learning how to cook), but starting next week I'll have school every night and be working every day... thinking about how I have to also keep the house clean (or allow it to turn into a pigsty, which he is perfectly happy with) is causing me a lot of stress. Even more stress comes with the fact that we're supposed to move next month, and I'm going to have to deal with all the arrangements (writing the notice to vacate, selling excess furniture, arranging the moving company, hiring carpet cleaners, showing the place to prospective tenants - oh, and did I mention the apartment hunt was entirely orchestrated by me? it was a struggle to even get him to look at places).

Not only that, but I'm feeling resentment towards him for having no time to spend with me. I'm well aware work is important, valuable, necessary - I'm sure as an attorney I'll have plenty of late nights too - but I feel like he's letting work suck his life away - suck our life away. Yes, he's the best person his company has (I'm not bragging when I say this; he loves the work he does, he's been doing it his whole life for fun, and he knows it inside and out), but I think the company is taking advantage of that fact. Or rather, he is letting them take advantage of that fact. It's not like they're requiring him to work the hours that he does. Maybe my unhappiness really stems from my feeling that he is choosing work over me.

It came to a head today when he told me he doesn't want to go on our trip to Europe. It was originally for his mom's wedding, but she changed plans, and then his dad suggested we go for his sister's graduation in July... but he said no, he doesn't want to, and that he "hates vacations" because they're "stressful" and that "anyway, we were just in Europe" (we went to England to visit his family last summer). Oh, and he also threw in a "you're poor" for good measure. (for the record, I've been selling purses/shoes/clothes on ebay to fund the trip) And that's when he also announced that he wouldn't really be done with the project until August. We had a heated conversation in which I told him I couldn't be with someone who doesn't like to travel. I mean, he has fun when he goes - after hours upon hours of discussion, argument, cajoling - until I finally convince him. But that takes a lot of the fun out of it. Ultimately he would much prefer either being at work, or being home on his computer doing things similar to what he does at work. That drives me crazy.

Anyway, I kind of went off on a tangent there... I'm just really frustrated. I suppose I'm echoing the sentiments of a lot of women, but I do not feel appreciated, and my feminist side is itching for a brawl!

Gifts for the Boy who has Everything

I'm trying to come up with ideas for M's birthday. We're going to be in stupid Arizona for my cousin's wedding on that day, and although he hasn't complained about it, I feel a little guilty and would like to give him a nice enough present to make up for it. Not necessarily an expensive present, just something really thoughtful or useful.

But what do you give to the person who has -or can buy himself- anything? I've always found some electronic to buy him in years past, but I don't think there's anything left now. I could buy him clothes, but it's not something he cares about. He's been working nonstop the past couple months and will continue to be working until July (so he has no time for hobbies, reading, vacations, etc.... Well, what he does at work - programming/3d modeling - IS also a hobby... probably one of the reasons he's been able to work so much and not get burned out).

I should also point out that he doesn't really like vacations... he would prefer to be at home with me watching a movie or playing a game. (Note that we have Netflix, and any game he'd like to play is purchased before it's been released)

Can anyone offer any suggestions?? Unique, thoughtful gifts? Or new, interesting electronics?

Planning Classes

The tentative schedule has been released for the entire year and I'm having trouble deciding what to take in spring. How many units I'll have to take is a little up in the air right now, but it'll be somewhere between 12 and 15.

Should I take bar classes (for those who don't know, these are classes that cover material tested on the state bar, and have a closed book final exam), classes of subjects that I'm interested in, or just the easiest classes possible so I can get out of this place in one piece? Any law school grads (Shtinkykat, Sallie's Niece, hint hint ;)) out there who can help me?

Leaving undergrad, there were a lot of classes I regretted not taking (language classes, for one). I definitely chose the easy/fast route there - I wanted to, and did, graduate early. Graduating early isn't a possibility with law school, but I would like to graduate feeling like I took all the classes I should have taken - both from a practical and a bar standpoint.

Were there any classes you regretted not taking after graduation?

Budget for June/July

I need to get together $1237.50 for half the rent and half the security deposit for our new place, plus another $360 to cover expenses (beyond my income) in June. I also need about $2000 for the trip to Europe in a few months.

I think I can make about $900 from Craig's List sales (of our excess furniture), and since half of that would be mine, that would leave me with $787.50 left to go. In total, I need to at least get together $1150, and $3150 if I want to go on the trip. I think, with ebay sales, the former is very possible, and the latter is a stretch. :\ But I'll try my best...

Rent: $1050
Cells: $120
Food: $200
Drugstore: $20
Debt: $1139
Personal Training: $160
Gas: $40
Vacation: $100
Total = $2829

Rent: $0
Cells: $120
Food: $200
Drugstore: $20
Debt: $1139
Personal Training: $160
Gas: $40
Total = $1679

Feelings on Facials

It was my friend's birthday last week, and we're having a spa day this weekend to celebrate. I was just going to get a massage (after all the yoga I've been doing, boy do I need it), but she said she's "definitely" getting a facial, and I'm a bit tempted to do the same. But are facials really worth the money?

I've only done it once, about 1 1/2 years ago. It felt relaxing while I was getting it done, but my face hurt for at least a week afterwards (on account of the extractions), and I broke out. I've always had relatively mild acne in my face, and it's almost nonexistent now (since going to see a dermatologist at the beginning of the year). I'm a little worried about getting a facial done and having a repeat of what happened before. I relayed this to the lady at the spa and she assured me they use "all natural, gentle products" and that everyone leaves glowing. ("sure they do" to that last part :p)

I did a search on google - "are facials beneficial" - and the results were basically "do it if it feels relaxing and you have the money, but there's no scientific evidence that it will improve your skin."

What is everyone's opinion on/experience with facials? Was the experience I had just a fluke, and most people do indeed come out "glowing"?

Apartment Hunt Over!

We found our apartment today! The vibe just felt right from this place... plus it has pretty much everything we were looking for. :)

  • $1200
  • 1 bedroom
  • 1.5 mi from M's work
  • laundry in building
  • 1 parking spot
  • lease starts no earlier than mid-June, may start end of June
  • Really nice landlord :)
It has the added feature of being across the street from a park with a swimming pool and tennis courts! It's a well-maintained park too, well-lit, and it seems the community actually cares about it. There are some other parks around here that might as well have a sign designating them "for the bums and the drunks."

So, we definitely want it. Here comes the harder part... they have two units available. Will you guys help us choose?? M and I are being really indecisive.

Unit 1 - Downstairs
  • no stairs
  • easy access to the laundry room
  • can buy air conditioning unit from previous tenants for $50
  • mirrored closet doors
  • living room window opens up to courtyard where the other tenants walk
  • probably hear footsteps from up above
  • probably doesn't get too much light

Unit 2 - Upstairs
  • slightly bigger
  • ceilings are higher
  • bathroom vanity area has a longer counter
  • everything will be new for our move-in (carpets, kitchen, etc)
  • probably gets more light
  • less likely to kill you in an earthquake (this was M's addition :p)

  • stairs
  • farther walk to laundry room
  • would have to buy/install air conditioning unit ourselves

Bank of America Fees

I think I have to switch to another bank. Starting in a few weeks, Bofa is going to be charging $8.95/mo to every checking account that doesn't have direct deposit and doesn't maintain a daily balance of at least $1500. My old job had direct deposit, my new job does not... which really sucks. I have 3 checking accounts with them, so doesn't that mean I'll be charged nearly $30/mo?? Can anyone recommend a bank that doesn't have stupid fees like this?

In response to the comments - I've never had any bad service with Bofa, and I like having all my accounts in one place (I have two credit cards with them). I like that I can go to any of their ATMs and it's about 3 mins to do any kind of deposit (and I get a scan of my check on the receipt!). I like that their banks/ATMs are all over the place.

I have an account with a credit union where I used to live, and I was happy with them while I was there, but now, with ATMs and banks 50 miles away, they're worthless. M and I may move out of state in a year, and I don't really want to change banks again. So, I'm going to take Shtinkykat's advice and ask Bofa if a regularly scheduled deposit from another bank account will count as a direct deposit. If, after a lively argument, they won't work with me, then I guess I'll head to a credit union - I have 2 to choose from, both with crap branch locations.

It's too bad ING doesn't offer checking accounts - they have a branch not too far from here.

Trip to Arizona

I booked tickets for our trip to Arizona next month. My cousin (who I'm not actually related to and don't know that well) is getting married, and apparently a lot of family members (who also aren't related to her) are flying down to be there. I hope that much effort is put into attending my graduation from law school next year, considering they actually are related to me (and it's actually something to celebrate, as opposed to an uneducated 20 year old tying the knot with some guy she's known for half a year. Ahem. Anyway).

M is still in the midst of crunch time at work, so he can't take any days during the week off. We're leaving Friday night and returning Sunday night (which also happens to be his birthday). I'm kind of annoyed about the whole thing. It would've been ok if we'd had a day to go to the Grand Canyon or done some other sightseeing in a prettier part of Arizona, but with the time constraint it's not possible. I told my grandma it would probably be better if we postponed our trip by a month and then we could stay for a week or so, but she absolutely insisted that we be there, and laid on a guilt trip. I have to admit it's been a looong time since I've visited Arizona (10 years at least), and even longer since I've seen these other relatives that are flying out from the east coast. But wouldn't you rather see your grandchild for a full week than basically a day and a half plus get a stupid wedding picture?!

It was $380 for the plane tickets plus a rental car. I don't want to rely on anyone else for transportation, and I'd like to ensure some alone time for M and I, even if it's just driving to and from relatives' houses. Plus I was hoping to do some sightseeing on Sunday - can anyone suggest some places to visit in Phoenix? I did a search on google, but what I came up with was pretty pathetic. I know there are hiking trails, but that's not something we want to do in 100 degree weather.

New Job

The first day was incredibly disorganized (I spent almost 2 hours sitting in their waiting area as they tried to find where to put me) and gave me a headache, but today made up for it... I have an office! And my work is actually pretty interesting - I've already done a synopsis on three trusts, briefed the attorney on said trusts, and participated in a meeting with a client! :) I have Wednesdays off, but I was thinking of coming in anyway - I don't think I've said something like that about any of my past jobs! Now I just need to find someone to give me a w-2 to fill out and some assurances that I will actually be getting paid in 2 weeks... and then this job will be near perfection. ;)

DIY Car Maintenance

I had to address the comment Jake made on my previous post. He said changing the power steering fluid takes 5 minutes and I could "easily" have done it myself. On a post a while back, someone else said I could do my oil change myself.

I have no doubt that I could do it myself. Do I want to do it myself? Hell no! My previous car was a BMW from the '80s, and I did plenty of tinkering on that. The whole point of buying this car was so that I would not have to be involved in the maintenance (and that it would have little maintenance, which, so far, has been holding true). I already have enough to learn without adding my car to the mix. And I don't have the time or patience. I like dropping my car off, going about my day, and coming back to have it performing beautifully. I'm "into" cars in a practical and aesthetic sense, but I don't enjoy in the slightest bit maintaining them.

The point of the previous post was to find out whether people thought I had been ripped off. Had I been ripped off, I would have marched back into the dealer, raised hell, and demanded a discount. From the part prices I've found so far, it doesn't seem like it; it seems like I'm paying the (typical) "dealer's premium." Haven't really found anything about the "power steering kit" so if someone knows the typical cost to replace them, please let me know.

Car Expenses

I took my car to the dealership today for some upkeep. I had them do my 40k maintenance (including oil change), and they found a nearly dead battery and what they described as "dirty" power steering fluid. I was out for an afternoon with my dad, and was in a rush so I made the mistake of asking the service rep to just "take care of it" without being told or requesting the cost of the repairs. After I hung up the phone, I mentioned it to my dad and he mused that it would probably be $53-ish for the battery and power steering fluid. I didn't think of it again until I picked up my car, where I discovered..............

(that pause was to simulate my jaw dropping ;p) The total came to nearly $500! And that was after a 10% discount on the 40k maintenance. The power steering service was around $166, the battery replacement was $141 and the 40k maintenance was $130. I think if my dad hadn't said what he did, I would have winced, but then swallowed hard and moved on. Was I ripped off? I know the dealer generally charges more (although it's $20 cheaper to get oil changes there instead of Ez Lube)... but is this way beyond more? Sorry if I sound a bit clueless; I've only had this car for 4 years (and bought it brand new), so this is the first time something relatively major has cropped up.

Had to put the total on my credit card... I suppose I'll have to draw from my emergency fund to cover it. :(

Update on May Goals

  • Go to gym at least 2x/week
  • Go to yoga 2x/week
  • Meet with personal trainer weekly - 3 weeks down, 1 to go
  • Orthodontist appt (5/5)
  • Dentist appt (5/11) - filling
  • Orthodontist appt (5/12) - molds
  • Orthodontist appt (5/27) - braces off!!!
  • Schedule appointment w/gyno
  • Buy plane tickets to Arizona (for wedding #1)
  • Buy plane tickets to England (for wedding #2 -- hopefully my ebay sales will fund this; otherwise will have to borrow from M again... sigh)
  • Put purses/clothes up for sale on ebay
  • Put furniture up for sale on Craig's List
  • Go to amusement park (5/15)
  • Go to spa (5/24)
  • Get oil change; yearly maintenance; wash (5/9)
  • Get refund from laser hair removal place (5/29)
  • Go to 2nd laser hair removal appt (5/29)
  • Find an apartment!
  • Evaluate if anything in the house needs to be thrown out/donated
  • Plan out class schedule for entire year
  • Buy summer school books (once I figure out my classes)
Special Occasions
  • Figure out what to do for Mother's Day
  • B-day present for sister - Xbox 360 :)
  • B-day present for friend - part of spa treatment & dinner
  • Figure out what to get for M and my dad - both of their b-days are the first week of June

Meal Ideas?

I gave my personal trainer a meal/exercise plan I prepared and we talked about it this morning. (I LOVE her by the way - I had a lot of fun, I felt like I was exercising muscles I wouldn't exercise on my own, she totally tailored the workout to my needs, and she was really nice! :)) She liked what she saw on the plan, but thought I was including a bit too many refined carbs (I do love my white rice, white bread, pasta, etc).

This is what I had down for weekly dinners (Mon-Sat):




Baked potato

Eating out


Can anyone offer some suggestions? I'm going to be cooking, and it's going to be at 10pm at night, so I want something relatively easy, healthy, and without a big mess. (I have to admit, my favorite meals to "cook" involve me taking them out of the freezer and putting them in the oven, but I know I can do better than that ;)). I'll be cooking for M and I - the only thing he doesn't eat is tofu, and I'll eat pretty much anything. We're trying to cut back on the red meats.

Real Credit Score

I bought my score from Equifax a few minutes ago. Here's how it stacks up against Credit Karma's version -

Credit Karma: 728
Equifax: 702
Difference: -26 pts

According to Equifax, I have "good" credit. Good amount of debt and credit history, very good payment history, and not good amount of new credit. I'm not sure when new credit stops being "new" - I opened my last card 7 months ago.

Anyway, it's a little discouraging to see that it's lower, but at least I am truly above 700. :) And I know it'll continue to increase with time!

Can we move into a studio?

FB and her bf are moving into a studio... I'm thinking M and I might want to do the same thing. He was opposed to the idea (he said, and I quote "remember how you wanted to kill me when we were living in one room at my parents' house?"), but I think he'll come around. The example he brought up isn't relevant anyway - part of the reason I was so unhappy was because we were living with his parents! They're nice people and all, but I felt like an intruder; I didn't feel comfortable using their kitchen, and I HATED being asked everytime I left where I was going. (My mom used to do the same thing, but whereas I felt compelled to always be polite with M's parents, to her I felt fine saying "stop asking me" or "none of your business." :p)

Our current set-up is this (over 1400 sq.ft):
Master Bedroom
-king bed
-my 3 desks side-by-side (1 computer, 2 monitors, 1 printer)
-my bookshelf
-2 dressers
-standing lamp

2nd Bedroom
-M's corner desk (1 computer, 3 monitors)
-desk on which tv sits
-recliner chair
-elliptical machine
-standing lamp

Living room
-2 couches
-Exercise Bike
-60" tv and stand
-dining room table

We used to have both our computers in the master bedroom (out of necessity because my relative was staying in our 2nd bedroom). I kind of miss not having him next to me. Now I have to yell to him when I want to share something... and eventually I just wander into the 2nd bedroom and spend hours in there until it's time for bed. I love talking to him, we have lots of spirited debates (which sometimes make me angry, I have to admit... even though we ultimately agree on everything we argue about! I have more of a temper than he does). He needs more "alone time" than I do, I think... I have plenty of time to myself nowadays. But I figure I can always go to the gym, or spend some time reading... I think we can make it work! Also - it would only be for a year. We'd like to buy a place in June 2010.

I'm going to try to sell everything in the living room... maybe keep one couch and the exercise bike. Is it possible for the following things to fit into a studio?
-king size bed
-2 55" desks (for me)
-1 100" corner desk (for M)
-1 55" desk for tv
-2 computer chairs
-1 recliner
-1 exercise bike
-1 couch
-2 dressers
-1 bookshelf

Maybe I'm asking too much...? Has anyone else out there lived in a studio with another person? What are your thoughts?

Paid Off Braces!

I went to the orthodontist this morning and they gave me a timeline of my remaining treatments. Only 3 weeks left to go! It would've been a week sooner, but I need to get a filling taken care of at the dentist before they can do the molds.

They asked if they could put the remaining balance ($1147) on my credit card, since the treatment was almost finished. I was given the option of waiting another two weeks (and on second thought, that's really what I should've done), but I told them to just do it now. I should be able to pay it off before any interest charges are applied, but it'll be cutting it close. Oh well... at least I have another sidebar at 100%! ;) (Though technically, I suppose I should add the $1147 to the credit card bar... If I don't pay it off in 2 weeks, I'll do that)

Anyway... the end is in sight!! Yay! :)

The increases keep coming

According to Credit Karma, my score has increased again - I'm now at 728. I officially have "good" credit! :) I know that score is probably not quite right, so I'm going to pull my reports straight from Equifax/Transunion at the end of the week. Hopefully the real score is close (preferably higher! :)).

Expenses Looming

Finals end on Thursday, and then immediately on Friday I get to deal with some car repairs that I've been putting off. I'm getting an oil change, a 12 month recommended maintenance, and my door fixed. Hopefully during the maintenance they don't find anything else that's in need of repair... and also hopefully the door issue -the back passenger door stopped opening from the inside- isn't too expensive. I thought about just continuing to put it off, but it's kind of dangerous if I have people sitting in the back... what if I have an accident and someone gets trapped back there?

I'm also doing my first personal training session on Friday. I tried to negotiate her price down a bit more (by offering to pay for a number of sessions up front), but she refused, saying her price is already reasonable (which I think is true). That's one expenditure I'm excited about. I really want to start chipping away at this weight I've gained!

Then Sunday is Mother's Day... M and I are going to take my mom and little sister to a buffet. We've already purchased her present - the internet! They've been without it for months (she said she didn't have the money), and we figured that's probably one of the most valuable presents we can give her (and my sister). If we continue to pay for it over the next year it'll cost us around $450, but maybe she'll be able to take over the payments in 6 months.

I'm finally going to put up some purses/shoes/clothes on ebay, so hopefully it'll quickly offset some of the weekend's expenses. I'm also going to put some furniture up on Craig's List. I want to be prepared early for the move into the 1 bedroom.

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