How much does a trip to Vegas cost? Monday, Jan 26 2009 

Since the last Vegas trip, tons of my friends have been asking me how much a trip to Vegas costs.

Well, first of all, IT DEPENDS.  It can cost a lot less than what we paid and it can cost a lot, LOT more.  It all depends on the kind of trip you want to have.

Here is what my friends and I pay.  I’m purposely not adding it up because it will freak me out if I do.

Hotel and Flights

In June, we paid $609 each for air from Boston (connecting flights) and four nights at TI (Treasure Island) with two people to a room.  In January, we paid $542 each for direct flights on US Airways and four nights at TI, this time with three people to a room.

TI is a fantastic hotel.  It’s one of the cheaper ones, but it’s really, really nice, with gorgeous rooms and comfy beds.  It’s also in the perfect location, right across from the Venetian and the Palazzo.  Also within a few minutes’ walk are the Wynn and Encore, the Mirage (next door!) and Caesars Palace.

I wouldn’t stay anywhere more low-end than TI, but some cheaper places include the Monte Carlo, New York-New York and the famous IP.  If I had unlimited funds, I’d be living it up at the Wynn!

Also — tipping the desk clerk $20 has gotten us a room with a great view of the Strip both times.  They usually charge $20 or more per night for that when you book online.  Great investment.

Food

We usually ate two meals a day.  We would always hit up a buffet for brunch, which costs around $20.

At night, it’s whatever you’d like.  I spent $80 on my meal at Bouchon (I had veal with freaking sweetbreads!).  I spent $8 at In-n-Out Burger.  We also like the Grand Lux, which is similar to the Cheesecake Factory and open 24 hours.  It’s at the Venetian and the Palazzo.

Gambling

Whatever you’d like.  I barely gambled this time around.

There are $5 blackjack tables in TI at 5:00 AM and in some of the more ghetto casinos throughout the day.  And penny slots are always open!

Shows

Tix 4 Tonight is a great place for buying day-of tickets, which you can get for 50% off.  There are stands at the Fashion Show Mall, Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall and the Hawaiian Marketplace, all on the Strip.  Keep in mind that popular shows sell out immediately, which is how we missed Wayne Brady.

What we’ve paid for shows:

Chippendales: $25 at Tix 4 Tonight

Hypnotist: $35 at Tix 4 Tonight

Cirque du Soleil’s LOVE: $130ish, I think?  (You won’t find Cirque for less than $50, and you usually won’t find these at Tix 4 Tonight.  Cirque is a splurge, but well worth it.)

Madame Tussaud’s: $15 at Tix 4 Tonight

Clubs

This is where it gets really subjective.

If you’re a group of girls, you shouldn’t have to pay cover, ever.  Call the club for guest list in advance.  There are cards in resort gift shops that give free or reduced admission on certain nights — look for some of those.  Beyond that, I have no idea how people get by in Vegas if they don’t know people.

Drinks like vodka tonics or rum and cokes cost around $12Vodka Red Bulls are more like $14.  Martinis soar into the atmosphere.  Shots were usually bought for us by guys.  Don’t ask me about beer — I have no idea.

(Drinks at casino bars and other bars are much less expensive.)

Also, if you’re an all-girl group, Tryst is a great place to go.  Both times that we’ve been there, my friends and I have been pulled into SO many VIP booths!!  And those guys are just begging to pour you drinks.

(I’ll be blogging more on Vegas nightlife later.)

Cabs

It depends on where you stay and the time of year when you go.  Lisa and I walked all the way back from Drai’s to TI in June because it was warm out, but it was so cold at night in January that I couldn’t do the walk back from Caesars to TI!

Most trips along the Strip cost us $8-15, including tip.  Keep in mind that the Palms, Hard Rock and Rio are off the Strip and will cost more.

Extras

Again, it depends, and it’s up to you.  You’ve got plenty of options — spa treatments, fabulous shopping.  Last time, I got a massage and bought some Michael Kors sunglasses.

We always get a limo from the airport — it’s a great way to celebrate the trip!  Presidential Limo does it for about $60 and it’s worth it for the champagne and bottled water they give you alone.

Bottled water is expensive at the casinos.  Make a trip to Walgreen’s by the Hawaiian Marketplace to stock up on water and other assorted hangover food — Saltines, Goldfish, Vitamin Water, etc.

Free Things

There are actually things to do in Vegas that are free!

First of all, check out the casinos.  The interiors alone are spectacular.  Walk along the canals at the Venetian and see the lions at the MGM Grand.  Take pictures of yourselves everywhere.

See the Bellagio fountains.  I still haven’t seen these up close.  Go check out the pirate show at TI (it’s awesomely bad and unintentionally hilarious).

And don’t forget the one thing that’s always free in Vegas: sleep.

In Conclusion

Vegas is awesome, but you probably already knew that.  And it costs a lot of money.  But if I have any advice to give, it’s not to do it if you’re going to do it dirt-cheap the entire way.  Keeping to a meager budget might end up stressing you out more.

But every dollar you spend in Vegas is WELL WORTH IT.  Vegas is like nowhere else in the world.

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Iceland vs. the Netherlands Monday, Oct 13 2008 

Okay.  I’ve been doing some more research on destinations for travel this Thanksgiving, and here is my information.

First of all, AM I CRAZY?!  WE’RE IN THE WORST FINANCIAL CRISIS OF OUR TIME AND I’M OFF TO EUROPE?!

Well, possibly.

Here are some of my thoughts on Iceland:

  • I’ve always wanted to go in the summer to party in the midnight sun.
  • BUT, I could see the Northern Lights if I went during the winter.
  • AND it will be dark, with the sun rising around 10:30 AM and setting around 3:30 PM.
  • Iceland is expensive.
  • BUT it’s cheap to fly there.
  • ALSO, their economy just collapsed so much worse than ours.  Things are twice as cheap now.
  • This might be the ideal time to go.
  • AND, my blog friend Bex will be going with her friend at the same time.  Not that I’d crash their party, but it would be cool if someone I knew was there, too!

I’m not going to get into Amsterdam, or Berlin or Paris or Copenhagen or anything, because I’d like to go there because they are fantastic cities.  And I’ve never been to Amsterdam or Berlin or Copenhagen, but Paris is my favorite place in the world.

I’ll just do Amsterdam for now.

Here are my options for the lowest pricing:

Iceland only:

  • Fly to Reykjavik Thursday (Thanksgiving) night, arriving Friday morning.
  • Fly to Boston Tuesday afternoon.
  • Total: $476 USD

Amsterdam only:

  • Fly to Amsterdam via Reykjavik Wednesday night, arriving Thursday morning.
  • Fly to Boston via Reykjavik Tuesday afternoon.
  • Total: $770 USD

Iceland AND Amsterdam:

  • Fly to Reykjavik Wednesday night, arriving Thursday morning.
  • Fly to Amsterdam early Saturday morning.
  • Fly to Boston via Reykjavik Tuesday afternoon.
  • Total: $776 USD

Prices for Berlin or Paris are a bit higher on IcelandAir, especially Berlin, but I could book through elsewhere.  Copenhagen is only $711.

So…I could go to Iceland for a short time.  I could go to Iceland for a very short time and Amsterdam for a not-as-short time.  I could go to Amsterdam for enough time to allow several trips outside the city, like Delft (where Girl with a Pearl Earring, one of my favorite books and movies, takes place and was shot!).

So…any thoughts?

Which place should I choose?

Or should I just forget about the whole thing and concentrate on staying financially afloat in these hard economic times?

I’m getting an iPhone. Wednesday, Jul 9 2008 

It took quite some time for me to make this decision.

The iPhone is awesome. I don’t need to tell anyone that — it’s obvious to anyone who has ever held one!

Of course, it’s a question of finances. I’ve been getting cell phone service through my dad, who is retired from one of the major wireless companies (not AT&T). Because he’s a retiree, he gets a great rate.

Now my dad has let me know that he’s cutting me off. I don’t mind. Really. 🙂 I felt guilty about mooching off of him. It was the one thing I’ve let him pay for. I haven’t let him or my mom pay for a thing since I moved out a year and a half ago. (And I moved out the very moment I could afford to do so.)

So I’ll be paying for a new wireless plan, no matter what.

Anyway, the iPhone is awesome, and I want one. And now it’s half the price and twice as fast, with a bunch of the kinks worked out from the first go-round. So now, more than ever, it makes sense for me to do so.  I’m doing much better financially than I was a few months ago (not that I was ever doing badly.  I was doing well, and now I’m doing GREAT!).

And I just got my economic stimulus check in the mail. That makes a big impact.

So I’ve thought, I’ve researched phones and I’ve compared plans.

I’m very excited to say that it’s time! I’m getting an iPhone when it comes out on Friday!

Now, getting it will be easier said than done. I need to wrangle myself off my dad’s plan, yet keep his plan intact. And I have no idea how easy it will be to get a phone itself. The phones go on sale at 8:00 AM, and there are two AT&T stores in Downtown Crossing, where my office is. I might get there early. If not, the huge new Apple Store on Boylston might have some.

My friend Andy tells me that there will be ample supply this time around. He also plans to get to the store in Framingham at 4:00 AM. Just in case. (In other news, he’s crazy.)

Amsterdam deal….should I take it? Friday, Jun 13 2008 

I was surfing around, looking for airfare deals when I came across a sensational offer.

Amsterdam during Thanksgiving week.  Exactly when I want to go.

Leave the Friday before Thanksgiving at 7:15 PM.  Come back the Sunday after thanksgiving at 10:25 AM.

And here’s the best part: it’s a direct flight.  I can’t remember the last time I flew direct ANYWHERE!  (I don’t really count visiting Alexa in DC last year, since we flew from alternate airports that took a while to get to.)

(And can I mention that I hate flying from Manchester?  I hate it, hate it, hate it.  For some reason, most of my family and several of my friends love it.  I see absolutely no difference with flying from Manchester — apart from the occasional fare.  There are weather delays everywhere; you can have engine trouble anywhere.  The fact is, if you’re stuck in Manchester, you’ll have a much harder time getting another flight out, whereas if you’re in Boston, you’ll have no problem.  But I digress.)

The flight is absolutely perfect — it could not be better.

Now, for the price:

$800.  Including fuel.  Including taxes.

That is UNBELIEVABLE, especially with the cost of fuel these days.

Should I book it?  It’s tough because the deal ends June 30.  I’ll need to make a decision soon.  And though I just may strike it rich in Vegas next week, the odds are that I’ll end up with no money whatsoever.  😉  I’m not sure that I want to spend an extra $800 now.  And what if I decide I don’t want to go?

I don’t know…we’ll have to see…

But I really can’t wait to go to Amsterdam (and Luxembourg, and Germany, too).

New Bedding! Tuesday, Nov 6 2007 


Gorgeous, huh? Fit for a queen — or a Leo.

Before I get too proud, keep in mind that you can see the large bag of Smartfood next to my bed.

My mom had a 20% off coupon for Linens-N-Things, and I had a ton of stuff that I needed, so I went there. My bedding hasn’t matched since I moved in here, so I figured it was time for some attractive stuff, especially because my bed itself is really nice.

And you WILL NOT BELIEVE how much money I saved!!

Gold Dust Bed in a Bag — $99.99 (on sale for $49.99)

Space Heater — $39.99

Sealy Pillows (2) — $14.99 (buy one, get one half off)

500 Thread Count Sheets — $79.99 (on sale for $69.99)

Original Total: $249.95

Actual Total: $145.96

Total Savings: $103.99 or 41.6%

I rock!!

Now it’s time to go slide between those lovely 500 thread count sheets….

I’m Investing! Sunday, Apr 29 2007 

As you know, planning my extended trip around the world (not so sure if I should be calling it “a year around the world” because I’d love to go for much longer than that) is my absolute favorite thing to do right now. I’ve been saving my money since my first week at my job, my first post-college job, which I began at the end of July. At first I was saving $100.00 each week, even though I wasn’t making much money at all. I then became a permanent employee and promoted in November, which bumped up my salary considerably, and I’ve been saving more and more now saving $350.00 every two weeks. (I also invest 3% of my salary in my 401k.)

So far, I’ve only had to dip into my savings twice, back in March when I took the trips to Quebec and Texas within weeks of each other. I took out $300.00 at two different times. At this time, after starting at exactly $16.00 in my savings account (I went to Europe in June on reasons of celebrating graduation, being spontaneous, bonding with my sister, and visiting poor James, who had horrible roommates in Florence), I now, at this moment, have exactly $3,922.16 saved.

If I leave in fall 2009, like I had been planning to for a while, I will keep saving at the rate of $8,000.00 per year (a bit more, actually, but that allows for a few withdrawals if I need to do so). That will give me $24,000.00 by that time. Vagabonders (who, like me, travel light, eat street food and sleep in hostels) advise you to plan on spending $1,000.00 per month in most places, less in India and Southeast Asia, and more in Western Europe. It will altogether cost around $3,000.00 for most of the plane tickets, start-up costs and inoculations. I will also need to save a bundle for student loan payments while on the road.

But if I leave next fall, keeping my promise to myself to only stay in Massachusetts for one more winter, I’ll have about $16,000.00. I could also travel for a while that as well. Not for as long, but I could do it.

Now, I spend a lot of time on the boards at BootsnAll (check my profile out, I’m Adventurous Kate!), especially on the “Around the World and Vagabonding Travel” board. There’s also a board about money, which is definitely one of the hot topics.

People who love travel as much as me spend their time at home working multiple jobs and living miserly existences so they can get back on the road as soon as possible with as much money as possible. I understand why they do that, but I could never do that. I don’t want to be miserable for years for the sake of my travel. If I wanted to that, I would still live at home (grah).

I just try to be frugal — my rent is $500.00, which is the cheapest out of anyone I know in the T-accessible Boston area (except for my friend who had Russian roommates’ friends spying on her in the shower, but she only paid $450.00). I’ve been cutting back on alcohol. I’ve found it’s best just not to go out, period. That will sap you of your cash the fastest. And you know what? I think I’m actually a lot happier without alcohol in my life! That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy my wine, but still….

Going off on a tangent here, but I just can’t believe how irresponsible so many people my age are. So many have a ton of credit card debt. Some of them ignored their student loan bills until they started coming in bright orange, reading OPEN NOW, and the interest has skyrocketed. Many ignore the 401k option. Still more don’t save ANYTHING whatsoever.

(Side note: remember that episode of Sex and the City when Carrie’s apartment went co-op and she had to buy it to stay there and she only had $500.00 in checking and $700.00 in savings? Yikes!!)

And the lifestyle — so many people my age spend a few nights a week at the bar. Generally, a girl my age/size would spend around $40.00 on an average night out. Can you imagine how that adds up? Concert tickets add up a lot, as well.

Again, so I live modestly. I buy fresh food and cook. I don’t get takeout at work. I try not to buy clothing too often (with exceptions, like my weakness, DSW shoes, and my new HOTT charcoal gray suit which I’ll wear for the next few years). I don’t have special cable. I don’t drive to work except when I can park for free. I buy food on sale.

I could cut down a bit on fighting the urges to get takeout food after work (like my beloved yes cheese-chicken-rice-NO BEANS-salsa, yes-guacamole-sour cream-hot sauce weekly burrito from Anna’s Taqueria, plus the occasional weekly Starbucks beverage). I also buy books more often than I should, and I have two coupons for Express to use by tomorrow, but I’m not going to use them!!!! THAT is resisting temptation — if I spend $100.00, I’ll save $40.00, but I don’t have $60.00 to spend and especially not put on my Express credit card.

Credit cards are EVIL. I’m trying to get in the habit of using my Amex for only groceries, gas, prescriptions and online purchases. The rest of the time it’s strictly my Visa debit card.

So, anyways, I want to save a lot.

A lot of the people on Bootsnall have savings accounts at ING or HSBC. These two banks are online-only, so without the expenses of operating local branches, they’re able to offer high interest rates. I’ve been researching and have found that both offer decently high rates, considering the state of the economy right now.

ING Savings: Orange Savings Account, 4.50% APY
ING CD (best rate): 9-month CD, 5.25% APY

HSBC Savings: 5.05% APY
ING CD (best rate): 6-month CD, 5.25% APY

Both have minimums of $1,000.00. I think I’d like to invest $2,000.00, leaving another $2,000.00 in my savings account (which will hopefully grow to $6,000.00 in those six months!) that I’ll be able to withdraw if I need to.

To compare that to my interest rate now, I did a little math. My last interest earned was $0.55 when my account was at $3569.82. Multiply that by 12 for an annual return of $6.60, and the percentage you have is:

0.18%.

VERY bad.

Why am I wasting my time with this savings account? Plus, there’s the danger that one of my friends at work made me paranoid about: if someone steals your debit card, they make off with ALL your cash, and you can’t get it back. At least you can get it back with a credit card.

That’s why I no longer use my debit card for online purchases.

All right, so it looks like it’s time to decide. I think I’m going to go with a CD from HSBC for now, worth $2,000.00, since the rates are the same as ING and the six month option will be a good first investment for me.

This is so exciting!!!!

Okay. I’m all applied. I just have to sign it and send it in. My printer’s currently full of papers half-printed and sticking out in various directions, so I’ll do the printing at work.

Money money money money….I’m well on my way to a trip around the world.

I was also looking into TEFL courses in Boston, since having the certificate would make it very easy to teach English as I travel around the world. Who knows — I could turn it into a career!

The thing is, the two most prominent programs (at the Boston Language Institute in Kenmore Square and at TEFL Boston in Downtown Crossing, which is the preferable location for me) are expensive, costing $2,000.00. That’s a big investment, and I’m not sure I want to spend that much at this time. Full-time classes take four weeks of 30 hours a week, and part-time is a full-day class on Saturdays for twelve weeks. I work Tuesday-Saturday — that wouldn’t work.

Plus, if I were to teach long-term, I would start in Korea (the salaries are the highest in the world, the jobs are plentiful, and the cost of living is low), and hagwons don’t require TEFL certificates. (Another thought is that if I had a master’s degree in ANYTHING, I could teach at the university level in Korea or Japan, making enough money to live in Japan, and that would be beyond awesome, especially since college in Japan is widely acknowledged as no work and a giant party before a lifetime of workaholism.)

Why is it that whenever I sit down, I end up writing the lengthiest entries? I’m going to get ready and go into Boston, hanging out at Borders and meeting Dad and Sars for dinner, possibly in Chinatown, where she’s moving very soon….

Some Amusing Tidbits Monday, Apr 9 2007 

First of all, HAPPY FUCKING BIRTHDAY to my lil big sis Sars, who turns 19 today! I lub you so much!

Easter was quite nice. My dad and I spent a few hours with the extended family, including my grandmother, aunt and uncle (my dad’s sister and her husband), my cousins and their kids, my second cousins. It was really nice.

I spent a lot of time talking with my cousin Ashley, who is fifteen. I first shared the pictures and videos of Vanilla Ice (which my cousins LOVED), and then I was telling her and my grandmother about Sonic and what an amazing place it is. Then my grandmother wanted me to tell Ashley about college and how great it is, so I could be a good influence and all that (hehehe), so I started talking about studying abroad and all my experiences in Florence — and Ashley’s eyes positively LIT UP. She kept asking me tons of questions, and both she and my grandmother laughed hysterically as I told the story about canyon-jumping in Switzerland and how the first jump was so frightening that it made the guys in our group gasp with fear, and the one guy who tried to jump ten times but chickened out all but the last time, and standing on the edge and saying, “Oh my God,” over and over as the rope PULLED me!

But the moment of the day came from my ten-year-old cousin Lauren. Lauren has the most gorgeous hair — golden brown, hanging to her waist, and the bottom of it is more crimpy than curly. Rather than curls, it hangs in giant zig-zags. It’s beautiful. Anyways, my aunt (her grandmother) goes, “Lauren, your hair is getting so long.”

Lauren goes, “When I take a shower, it gets stuck in my butt crack!”

We were on the floor.

My dad and I went home a bit later, he picked Sars up from school, and we had some delicious steaks and watched a few American Pie movies, the tail end of Napoleon Dinamita (en espanol), and some America’s Next Top Model (Dad left the family room for that). I later dropped Sars off at school and drove back home.

Strangely, this was the first time that my dad’s house — the house I have lived in my whole life — felt kind of like a foreign entity to me. I kind of felt as if I were trespassing. And I was genuinely glad to get back to my place in Somerville, even though I have absolutely no groceries. I guess this is morphing into my new home — and it didn’t hurt that Chris Daughtry’s “Home” was playing on the radio as I pulled in.

In other news, I’ve been checking out my student loan payments closely. So far I’ve been paying regularly (it deducts automatically) without looking closely, but I now realize how much has been interest — and it’s been frightening!

I pay $120.00 per month. Along with a refund from Fairfield and the startup fee, I have paid $642.90 total — $400.76 of which is interest. That’s 62.3%. However, my percentage of interest has been decreasing. I’ve been doing the regular payments since January. Here’s how it has added up:

January: 100% interest, 0% principal
February: 85.25% interest, 14.75% principal
March: 72.85% interest, 27.15% principal

Wow. I am doing math, and it is making sense.

It seems that my percentage is reduced 14.75% either per month or per payment. I would imagine that it’s per month, but I’ll find that out when I call them tomorrow. I really want to understand this more, and calling them will help me with that.

April: 62.1%
May: 52.94%
June: 45.13%
July: 38.48%
August: 32.8%
September: 27.96%
October: 23.84%
November: 20.32%
December: 17.33%
January 2008: 14.76%
February 2008: 12.59%
March 2008: 10.73%
April 2008: 9.15%
May 2008: 7.8%
June 2008: 6.65%
July 2008: 5.67%
August 2008: 4.83%
September 2008: 4.12%
October 2008: 3.51%
November 2008: 2.99%
December 2008: 2.55%

In case you’re wondering, the original total amount that I am paying back is $18,084.58.

Don’t think that I’m not happy to do this. I am very happy and proud to pay this amount for my college education, after all that my parents sacrificed so that I could go to a great college. I’m the first person in my family to attend a private college.

Even so, if anybody leaves a comment along the lines of, “Wow, I don’t have to pay anything,” that officially makes you an ASSHOLE!

Vita Tuesday, Aug 29 2006 

Have I mentioned lately that I love my job? 😀 It’s awesome….I never thought that I’d luck out this much. My coworkers are hilarious.

I’ve been looking into moving out, but it looks like I won’t be able to for a few months. That really frustrates me, especially with the whole half-and-half divorced parents living situation (I’m really too old to be doing that at 22!) And that’s so tough to deal with. But financially, it’s going to be REALLY tough. Especially since my habit of never buying anything (for example, I buy clothes right after my birthday and Christmas, THAT’S IT) is starting to catch up to me. I need more stuff. I’m tired of wearing the same stuff every day. I need to buy a lot of CLOTHES, start establishing some credit (I thought I was, but I wasn’t actually) and cut up my Victoria’s Secret Angel Card. (They don’t send me coupons anymore, so there are exactly zero benefits to having one.)

In terms of an apartment, what would be ideal? Neighborhood-wise, someplace nice, and beautiful, and near a LOT of stuff. RIGHT by the T, as well as some bars. I’m not picky about the neighborhood — my preference is going to Brookline/Brighton/Allston, but I’d do Cambridge/Somerville too. I don’t see myself living in Dorchester, and I can’t afford any of the nice neighborhoods right in Boston. I loved having tons of roommates in Florence, and I would love to do that again (provided there are PLENTY of bathrooms). As for living with guys….I’m leaning towards no on that. (Maybe I should consider that, though. Guys are mostly drama-free.) I’d love living in a house with tons of people, but I really have no preference. And I’d like to pay under $500.

I should stop thinking about it….all the Craigslist ads at the moment are all “WE NEED SEPT 1 NOW!!!!!!! 420FRIENDLY”. Yeah.

Other tidbits:

–Sars moves into Emerson on Sunday. God, she’s all grown up now. And she gets to go to COLLEEEEEEEGE!

–Lisa started grad school at UNH today. Check out my AIM profile for a great convo on that.

–The Emmys were awesome — because of CONAN O’BRIEN!!! Love that man!!!

–The Step Up soundtrack is pretty great too — loved the movie, but the soundtrack is great on its own, too. It’s a perfect mix of hip hop and r&b.

–I can’t remember what I blog, so forgive me if I repeat.

–I bought a great book today: “Talking Right: How Conservatives Turned Liberalism into a Tax-Raising, Latte-Drinking, Sushi-Eating, Volvo-Driving, New York Times-Reading, Body-Piercing, Hollywood-Loving, Left-Wing Freak Show” by Geoffrey Nunberg. It’s about political linguistics, which is really interesting. At the moment, the conservatives are thriving, due to how they work well with language and communication. This shows a lot of how Democrats can crawl out and start communicating better. It’s really good stuff! I’ve never bought a political nonfiction book before, but I guess it was time. I saw the author on the Colbert Report.

–You know it’s hard out here!

Bright-eyed Wednesday, Aug 9 2006 

You know, I’m probably going to look back at this and either laugh or just shake my head in disbelief or think about how naive I was, but I want to say this: I love working because it FINALLY gives me something to DO!! Having the summer off was great, but now I’m glad that I have stuff to do, and especially that I have money.

(It’s not THAT much money, though. I got my first paycheck today and I nearly had a heart attack when I saw how much was taken out for taxes. Definitely not as cool as getting to directly pocket your money, like when I was waitressing, but this job is INFINITELY better than waitressing!)

And it’s weird, and I’m going to regret saying this, but I really do like commuting! I feel like I’ve finally joined the club. For the past few years, especially, it’s been absolutely no question that I would be working in a city as soon as I graduated, and it would probably Boston. Now I’ve joined the Commuter Club. I get to dress all business casual and keep that faraway/ever-so-slightly annoyed expression on my face. But underneath it, I’m grinning.

I even like it in the morning, when I listen to upbeat music (some favorite songs: Beyonce’s “Deja Vu” and Kanye West’s “Touch the Sky”) and get off the T early and walk the rest of the way. (Not all the way from North Station, though. I absolutely HATE the walk between North Station and State Street.)

Ah, yes. I’m all bright-eyed at my new job, and still marveling at the novelty of it. But I seriously, seriously love the people with — my training group. They are AWESOME.

So, in a nutshell, it’s nice to have something consume my life for now.

And, since I’m planning on trying to move out sometime this fall, I checked out the newspaper to get an idea of the costs of different neighborhoods — and THEN I went on craigslist and it was so much cheaper!! So THAT is where I am going to look! I actually saw a few that looked really good for now. But not yet. I need to save up. Craigslist is always addicting, if only just to see what other people have written.

That’s all for now. I’ve been wanting to get more sleep, so soon it’ll be time for bed. Scary, huh?