Jul. 21st, 2016

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Not much new here. Work is quiet right now and the stuff I have to work on until things pick up is painfully boring and tedious. I decided to take tomorrow off to help my mom with my niece and nephew. Would like to take my niece to see the new Ice Age movie, but she has camp from 12:30 - 3:30 so that really limits our options. There are some early showings at the theater near my work, but it seems silly to drive that far. I'll see what else I can track down.

It's been almost a month and we're still waiting for the OK for Zen to take his exam so he can FINALLY start working in his field. I faxed in the application for him on 6/22, they charged the credit card the same day and then... nothing. After two weeks he emailed them to ask if they could let him know when he might expect to hear from them. A week after that he called them, and after getting transferred around a bunch, he finally got someone who told him that they changed the exam at the end of June, so they haven't approved anyone to take the new exam yet and it would "take some time". Oh, and it also meant the $80 study guide he got a few months ago is now out of date so he needed a NEW $80 study guide. Grr.

In the meantime, he spent several days outside cutting down/trimming back bushes, unwanted trees, weeds, and just about everything that was growing in the flower beds. He wants to till everything and start over from scratch. He filled up 16 yard waste bags so far and the rest of the stuff that still needs to be bagged will probably fill another 10. There are some plants I'm sad he yanked out, including a bleeding heart that I had rescued from a grocery store many years ago that was thriving at the edge of the patio, but I know that the beds were so overtaken with weeds and whatnot that we pretty much needed to start over from scratch. He's also talking about us maybe getting a nice patio set once he's done with all the outside work stuff. I like the idea of a fire table so we can make smores and maybe use the patio in the cooler months when there aren't a zillion bugs (I am not a hot weather person. The only thing I like about summer is watermelon :)). Of course, fire tables are quite expensive so I suppose it's just one more thing I'll add to our wish list (along with a bigger bed, a newer tv and a sectional couch :)).

Since he doesn't know what his job situation will be when the time comes for DragonCon (Sept 1), Zen is going to stay home this year. I knew it was only a 50/50 shot that he would be able to go (though I thought by now he'd have his official certification and be at least looking for a job) so I'm a little disappointed but OK. I booked my flights even though my friend who lives there is *also* looking for a job and may not be available to come pick me up at the airport (he got laid off at the end of March but has 8 months of severance pay so he's taking his time job hunting). However, there is a train that goes from the airport to a station very close to the hotel, so if he can't, I can go that route. I can't believe it's only 6 weeks away now!

This is always a financially difficult time of the year... the travel expenses for DragonCon, my property tax is due on Sept 1, 6mo of car insurance is due (and now that we have two cars, we have one due in Aug and one in Sept), plus all the other standard expenses. But I'm pretty good about putting money into savings every month so we should be OK. Of course this for some reason also ends up being the time of year I decide I need to buy All The Things. Zen and I plan to have an updated budgeting discussion once he has a job in his field. He got the notice that he'll have to start paying on his student loans in January of 2017 so that should give us time to plan.

A few friends at work are doing those clothing subscription things (like Netflix for clothes). I looked into it, and though I like the idea in theory, I don't think I can even begin to justify spending $60 - 100+ a month for clothes I don't keep (or, I guess, more if I did decide to keep some of them). If I had a job where I had to dress more professionally than I do now, and/or if I had a lot of social events where I would like to dress up but not buy/keep a fancy dress, I would probably be all over it. But I remember how I was when I had Netflix and I would get CDs in the mail - I wouldn't want to end up being that person who is paying every month to hang on to the same outfit for 6 months :) It is fun seeing my colleagues' new outfits though.

Zen and I had a date day last Saturday and went to see Hunt for the Wilderpeople, which we both loved! Our Saturday plans this weekend unexpectedly fell through so I am going to donate platelets at noon and after that we're going to have another date day :)


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