Wednesday, November 25, 2009

"I simply remember my favorite things and then I don't feeeeeeeeel.... sooooo bad."

The stress of money and school has really been getting my down lately. So, I wanted to make a list of my favorite things. Be prepared... it's totally random. There are things that make me feel better, things that I do to unwind, things that I do just for me etc.  So here they are:

-snuggling/playing/walking with my dogs
-getting gift certificates for a bookstore
-long nighttime baths with a good book
-evenings when I have the house to myself to make/order a yummy dinner and dive into a good book
-weekend getaways- to anywhere with a jacuzzi tub so I can read (do you see the theme here?)
-summer weekends at the cottage
-unplanned afternoon naps
-a good hearty soup
-hiking in Algonquin Park in the fall
-the whole Christmas season- especially putting Christmas music on, making gourmet hot chocolate and wrapping presents
-phone calls from my Dad/ visits from my Dad
-dancing- any kind (a class, at the club, in my livingroom)
-singing (the best is in the car)
-buying a new outfit or a new purse
-gadgets: I love my bb, my itouch, my laptop, my DS
-any excuse to get dressed up and feel like a girl
-a singapore sling, a shot of tequila rose or a big pint of Guinness (sometimes multiples of all three)
-stopping for soup and sandwich lunches with Bub on the weekends

What about you? What are some of your favorite things?

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Lost Art of Napping

Naps used to be a regular weekend occurance for me. I rarely napped on purpose, but many Sunday afternoons spent lazily reading a book ultimately led to snoozing. And honestly? Taking a nap is one of my favorite things to do, especially on a rainy grey afternoon.

Since I started school, the ability to nap has become a thing of the past. A distant memory that seems to good to have ever been true. Until this weekend.

I decided that since I had no assignments due this week, only 1 online class left and exams to start ramping up for as of next weekend, that I was taking this entire weekend off of all things related to school. Yes- it means that I have to do my online class tonight or tomorrw night after work, yes- it means that I'll have to do the readings for my other classes on my lunch breaks at work.... but it was totally worth it. I really needed it too because Thursday night I dreamt about my microeconomics test (in which I realized I got an answer wrong) and Saturday night I dreamt about my humanities assignment that I handed in almost 2 weeks ago.

Friday night was New Moon night and I shall spare the details (see post below)... by it was simply A-MAZ-ING. LOVED it! If you haven't read the books, you may not appreciate the movie... but for me it was fantastic

Saturday I had a hair appointment, hung out at my Mum's for the afternoon and then dinner at MIL's. We all went to a play afterwards that was geared towards children (one of Bub's cousins was in it and therefore the only reason we went). We went home and tried to catch-up on weeks worth of PVR'd shows... but 1/2 way through Criminal Minds (at 9:45) I was asleep.

Sunday we slept in, took the girls for a huge walk in the bush and then came home to the best part of my weekend. At about 2:30 I laid down to read some of my book and the next thing I know, I'm waking up in darkness and it's 5:15pm. I had read about 11 pages of my books before passing out for an amost 3 hour nap. It was lovely.

I was so warm in bed with Jenny (Lola and Bub were watching football downstairs)... I didn't want to get up. I probably could have gone back to sleep and stayed that way until this morning. However, I made myself get up and get dinner together for Bub (who had to work overnight last night) and unfortunately I got a second wind that kept me awake until after 2am. Needless to say I was not impressed when my alarm went off a 6:30 this morning.

I don't think I've got that much sleep in a weekend in months and months and months and it made me realize how much I miss the carefree life I had before stupidly deciding to go back to school AND work full-time. I look forward to the next time I can just unwind like that and I recommend that everyone does it from time to time.

I've got a roast and potatoes in the slow cooker so dinner will be ready when I get home. I think I may put off my online class for one more night and spend tonight reading. I'm juggling two books that are due back at the library soon, so I need to get going! I should probably pick up my text book too... but I just don't feel like it. hehe.


New Moon was simply incredible. As much as I loved Twilight, New Moon was so. much. better. They followed the book about as close as they possibly could, the acting, effects, costumes etc were so much better in this one and you got a much better idea of the intensity of B&E’s love in this version (something that just didn’t fully translate to screen in the last one). And as hardcore Team Edward as I am, I was even wavering to Team Jacob during the movie… which seems to be the general consensus of a lot of people that saw it.  But, by the end, my fatih and love was fully restored in my Edward. I LOVE LOVE LOVED it and I can’t wait to own my own copy. I WILL see it again (probably several times) before then.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

If B12 really increases memory retention... hand it over.

Update on our car: it was some valve thingy… it’s being fixed today and it’s not costing us a penny. The downside, I have no car at work today and have to wait for the dealer shuttle after work for the second time in a week. As of tomorrow though, our car should be in tip top shape. Other than the current issue, I really like the car.
Now on to more important things:

School: I have my second microeconomics test tomorrow night. I’m so not ready for it. I studied for 22 hours for the last one (5 chapters) but with this one, I’ve only put in about 10 hours so far and will do another 4ish tonight, but honestly… it’s just not sinking in this time around. It’s only on 4 chapters but I just can’t get my brain to concentrate enough to absorb anything. It’s going to be painful. However, as of tomorrow night at 8pm, it will be over.

I can’t believe the term is almost over already. I have 1 more online class to do, 2 more HUMA classes and 3 more ECON classes + an exam for each and the term is over. I’m nervous for all of my exams, but I’m terrified of my ECON exam. It’s going to be an excruciating experience to study for and do. Ugh!

You have NO IDEA how much I am looking forward to Christmas break. I still have to work my regular hours but I’ll get to come home every night after work and NOT have school work to do, or classes to go to, or text books to read. It will be amazing.

On a not so fun note, I figured out that if I continue school at my current pace (18 credits per academic year and 6 credits each summer excluding next because I have to take that math class), I will graduate in December of…. 2013. BOO! I’m really hoping that next year or the year after we will be in a position for me to start working part time and going to school for a full course load. That way we can speed up the process a bit.

Weekend Plans: I’m counting the hours until Friday afternoon. There are four main reasons:

1. It will be the first weekend in a long time where I have no assignment to work on. Just my regular old online class (with no case study) and that’s it. YAY! I have to enjoy it because as of the next weekend, studying for exams begins and will last for 3 weeks. I plan to read… A LOT, take a nap (I miss naps), have a bath, take the dogs for a walk. Just hang!

2.  One more economics test will be behind me, regardless of the outcome.

3.  I am getting my hair done on Saturday morning… highlights (I miss them already since I went dark) and a trim. Nothing crazy.

4.  NEW MOON COMES OUT ON FRIDAY!!!!! We have tickets to the 9:50 show on Friday night which likely means lining up at 8ish, but I’m okay with it. I’ll take a book and chill. I CANNOT FREAKIN’ WAIT! I miss Forks and the Cullen’s… and especially my Edward. It feels like such a long time since I’ve been in that world…. my happy place. I know I’m going to leave and immediately want to see it again AND reread the books, and I’m not going to deprive myself if that’s the case!

Alright, I really need to get some work done and then start going through my notes again for my test.

Here's what I'll be dreaming about for the rest of the week (in between ecnomic thoughts of course)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

No, not FML... I have it pretty good.

Did I tell you that regardless of the fact that I'm absolutely steaming about the car... I officially have the best husband in the world???

Last night, I got home from class to:

a) a clean kitchen
b) a backyard clear of leaves and trampoline flipped (ready for winter)
c) my lunch and dinner for today made and waiting in the fridge

Also, I had to throw a load of laundry in before I went to bed last night and fell asleep before I could switch it to the dryer. When MH came in to say goodbye to me this morning and put the dogs back in bed with me (5:45am) I asked him if he would mind switching the laundry.....
d) When I came down this morning, not only had he loaded and started the dryer, but he had also properly hung the wet stuff that doesn't go in the dryer.

20 bucks says when I come home tonight, the vaccuming and dusting will be done too. These are his "chores" and he likes to get them done on Thursdays so he can relax on the weekend. Oh... except he does the laundry on weeekends. All of it. I maybe do a load a month, if that. He also does the garbage collection and take-out on Tuesday nights.

He's the best!


Really? Seriously?

24 hours after picking up our “new” car, I’m driving home from school at about 10:30 at night and low and behold, on comes the Service Engine Soon light. Did I mention this was one of the things I hated about the Grand Am? The SES light came on about 2 or 3 days after we bought it and it never went off.

On top of that… the gas mileage SUCKS!!!!!! Let’s break it down shall we?

2000 Grand Am- 3.4L V6 engine (big and powerful engine)- just over a ¼ tank of gas for a return trip to school

2005 Sentra- 1.8L 4 Cylinder engine (MUCH smaller)- just over ½ a tank of gas for a return trip to school.


Now, I understand that ½ a tank in the Sentra is not the same amount of gas as ½ a tank the Grand Am (smaller tank) but seriously? That means a whole tank of gas will be consumed in 2 trips to school. I was only filling the Grand Am once a week. This means I’ll have to fill the Sentra twice. Even if it’s cheaper per fill-up, it’s not going to be THAT much cheaper and will still be more than the Grand Am. How is this possible? Hopefully whatever is making the engine light come on is what is causing such high gas consumption.

So, tomorrow morning, less than 3 days after picking the car up from the lot, it’s going back to have work done. I’m so pissed right now; it’s all I can think about. I just keep thinking… GREAT! What have we gotten ourselves into… AGAIN???? I finally thought we had made a smart decision and gone with a reliable brand/model and affordable in terms of maintenance and gas mileage. WRONG! As usual. Clearly, we’re not off to a very good start.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I Can't Imagine....

I can't imagine what it's like to watch a close friend die.

Feeling that it's all your fault, seeing horror in his eyes.

"Take my family and keep them safe", are the last words that he said.

You make a silent promise as you slowly nod your head.

Then you have to leave him, with no time to say goodbye,

As you grab your gun and go, you hear his painful sigh.

But in the war, there's no time to grieve or even shed a tear.

Feeling no emotion, except a terrible fear.

As a soldier in the war, they learn to keep on going,

Run away, watch them die, their pace not even slowing.

Keep what I've said in your heart on Remembrance Day,

Think, what if you met that friend? What would you have to say?

I wrote this poem as an assignment in the 8th grade (for Mrs. GC!) and was recently sent a copy from my Dad who kept it all this time. I thought it was appropriate to post today of all days.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Yay for a new car!

We bought a "new" car! I'm relieved and a little freaked out at the same time, but it was necessary.

We bought a 2005 Nissan Sentra- a sporty little 4 door, silver of course (because all cars in this freakin' town are silver). It's a gutless little 4-banger which means that it going to take some getting used to as it's substantially less powerful than our current car, but will be soooooooooo much better on gas. Neither of us is in love with this new car or anything, but it's exactly what we were looking for... affordable, reliable and practical. We even bought an undercoating treatment that literally puts an almost rubber seal on the underbody to protect from rust because we need this car to last. It's like the high-tech version of oil undercoating but it lasts for the lifetime of the car so we never have to do it again. This is super important in the winter here because there is so much salt on the roads for such a big chunk of the year and it's really hard of the body of the cars.

I'm happy it's all taken care of... but I'm definitely not looking forward to a payment again. I can't worry about that now because we had no choice. We have to have a car, and we went as practical as possible, so it is what it is.

Here's my (opps... I should say "our") new little car. I get to pick her up tomorrow.

Friday, November 6, 2009

A Jumbled Mess.....

Are you ready for a whole lot of randomness?

Some of you may remember my posts about having to change my degree/major because my current major (which would give me a BA in Business & Society when I’m done) is not doable for me based on the schedule of some of the core classes. So…. I went in and spoke with an advisor about changing my major and degree to get my BAS (Bachelor of Administrative Studies) which is what I applied for in the beginning but was missing a high school level math prerequisite, so I couldn’t get in. Now that I’m already a student of the University, they are going to allow me to change provided I meet some criteria:

-I must maintain a 5.0 GPA this year (my school is on a strange grading system, but it’s basically the equivalent of a C+) which is no problem for me.

-I have to take a “Mathematics for Admissions” class, which does not affect my GPA nor will it count towards my degree, but is strictly pass or fail.

As long as I pass, along with a 5.0 or higher GPA, I can switch no problem. I’m so relieved because my current degree program was just not a) what I thought b) working with my schedule (at least not in the future). Both programs are similar, but this is the one I wanted to begin with so I’m happy about it.  It’s a relief. It sucks that I have to take and pay for a class that doesn’t count for anything, but it’s what I have to do so I’m okay with it.

I got one of my term-papers back and got the second highest mark in the class! I missed highest by 2%!! That means that I’ve received exactly 80% on all assignments/test so far this term. It’s kind of weird isn’t it? My economics Prof bumped all of our marks by 5% (and may give us 5 or 6% more at the end of the year), but I have actually earned 80% on everything. Strange.

We pretty much have to buy a car this weekend. We’ve been looking online this week and test drove and 05 Civic on Monday night, so I think we’ll find something. Now…. fingers crossed that we get financing!!! We’ve both always had really good credit (I’m so crazy about bills being paid on time), but I think with the savings down to nothing and the fact that we’ve got a 100% mortgage now, coupled with the applications this summer for financial aid for school (which I didn’t get for various reasons), we may not be ideal candidates any longer. We make all of our payments on time, but that’s just a part of it. I don’t know what the hell we are going to do if we don’t get approved, but I’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. Right now, I’m just concentrating on finding a good reliable car at a reasonable price, then I’ll think about paying for it.

Not only do I have to buy a car this weekend, but I have to clean my house, get my waxing done (this is imperative so I don’t start to look like a boy), go to the library, complete an annotated bibliography for a paper I have to do, and do my online class. I’m hoping that I can get everything squared away so we can go with a group of friends to Toronto tomorrow night to The Mod Club to see our friend’s band play. It’s free since we’re on the bands list so I’d really like to go and just have a good time.

Happy Friday!!! (Man... I'm in a surprisingly good mood today... odd)

 Here's some of the cars we're thinking about. 

You know... something "family practical".  Fours doors for easy access with car seats and puppies.

Or if we wanted something a little sportier... although we'd have to get rid of it when babies come.

HA! Seriously though.... this is likely closer to what we'll end up with....

I am a genius....

(originally posted on NBC on Oct 25/09)

....okay not really... not even close actually. But I'm super happy about this.

I had a microeconomics test two weeks ago that I was terrified for because I'm really struggling with the class. I studied for 22 hours in the 4 days leading up to the test (3 of those days I also worked 8-430). I did the test and thought it went just ok (somewhere in the low 70's).

In class on Wednesday, Prof tells us the class average was 54%!!!!!!!!! He said that he was going to adjust the marks by 5% for all of us because it was so hard and it made him look bad. I was freaked that I did worse than I thought and I was going to get the test back in the 50's or 60's.

Well, the marks were posted yesterday and I got....... 80%!!!!! Which means that after he adjusts the marks I will have 85%!!!!!! I'm so pumped that all that studying paid off. I seriously thought I was not going to do well at all so I'm super happy with that mark.

Maybe I should change my major to economics???


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I think they might like each other?

And to think we were worried that they wouldn't get along.

When Jenny and Lola got sick of competing for space on my lap, they decided to share.  How freakin' cute are my girls?  They are my two favorite things in the whole world.

Monday, November 2, 2009

I hate cars.

Well… it happened. Our car officially bit it. Well, not technically but it’s very, very close. I’m a little freaked out about it. We only have the one car and we HAVE to have it. I need it to commute to school.

Since August we’ve put $500 into it in repairs. This morning it had to go in and here’s what needs to be done:

-$800 to repair coolant and tranny fluid leaks (that’s right! It has $800 in leaks)

-$500-$600 for brake pads, calibers and rotors (that’s a guesstimate price)

-$600-$800 for 4 new tires since the current ones are basically bald and spin in the rain (not safe in the Ontario snow belt….and winter is fast approaching)

On top of that, something is definitely hanging under the car because when I hit a bump on the hwy I can here is bounce (kind of like squeaky bed springs) and there is a loud buzzing noise now (and I don’t think it’s the fan belt because it was just replaced in August). The body is starting to majorly rust and I don’t think we’ll get much more than this winter out of it before it starts to rot out unless we pay hundreds to fix it.

The car is 10 years old and a piece of crap. It’s been a problem since we bought it 3.5 years ago. In total we’ve put over $4k in repairs into it and now it’s just getting worse. Bub and I swore when it had to go in, in August that if it was going to cost more than $700 to repair we would just let it go and buy something else. It was only $400 at the time so we just paid for the repair. Then it was $100 two weeks ago and now this? We’re WAY over the limit we set if we do this work. I know that the brakes and the tires are just regular maintenance, but on top of everything else that needs to be done it’s too much. I mean EIGHT HUNDRED BUCKS WORTH OF LEAKS????? COME ON! And if we fix this stuff, what will happen next week, or month?

So I asked the mechanic to hold off on any repairs and told him that we were thinking of just getting rid of it and he basically told me it’s probably a good idea. And he would know because he’s spent so much time under it in the past few months.

We’ll talk to tonight but I’m pretty sure we’re going to have to find a way to buy something else. I think we’ll just pickup a used Civic or something else that size that will be good on gas, reliable and cheap on insurance. I’m freaked because a car payment will literally tap us dry but the current car is already doing that so what’s the lesser of two evils?
I’ll just really have to push Bub to finally get a better paying job or pickup a second part-time gig. We have to. I don’t want to sink financially. I hate cars.

Oh! p.s. I need an oil change too.

If only campus was close enough.