Monday, March 28, 2011

The Quest for Cake

B's birthday is tomorrow. My plans for this day are always changing. He didn't ask off for that day, but I did, so I will be hanging out with myself all day. He gets off too late to go out to dinner. I ended up spending more on his presents than I planned on so I guess that's ok. I planned on getting him an ice cream cake for that night, because that's his favorite. He then expressed concern that someone else (namely his mom) might get him an ice cream cake for his birthday because EVERYONE knows what his favorite is. So I offered to get him a bakery cake. He said "whatever's cheapest". Well, cheapest would be a box of Pillsbury cake mix, but I couldn't make a cool cake out of that. Especially since my cake pans aren't super great. So I headed out this morning on a mission to find an awesome not-too-expensive birthday cake.

My first stop was Walmart. Oh, if only I was shopping for a cake for myself. I found several I liked. My favorite was a Little Mermaid themed cake, but there were also Finding Nemo cakes and pretty pink princess cakes. There was a single Star Wars cake in the bunch. It was cool looking- lots of blue and red. It had action figures on it (I like cakes with action figures because you get to keep the toy.) The action figures didn't look so awesome, though. I went ahead and placed my order, not feeling so great about it. A few minutes after I walked away I was paged back to the bakery. They said that they only had one of those kits left and it was missing pieces- the stands that the action figures were on (the logo of the empire and the logo of the rebel alliance) were missing. They offered to draw the symbols on there, though. I was That is a cake wreck waiting to happen.

So then I headed over to Kroger to take a peek at their cakes. They had fewer options but they had a much better looking Star Wars cake. How exciting! It doesn't have toys, just a screen-printed picture thingie. But it looks nice. I'm excited about getting it for him. I wish he was off work tomorrow so we could spend time together- he's working 11 hours tomorrow which can't be very fun to do on your birthday. But hopefully he will like his presents and his cake will be yummy and he'll be happy.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Level up!

My husband can be so silly sometimes.

A few weeks ago we were having some conversation about the city's budget, and how the new mayor had emailed all the city employees (me included) about ideas for reducing spending. One idea I had was to close the libraries an hour earlier, like we used to, because we get like an extra $0.50 an hour for every hour we work after 5 p.m. I was telling Brandon this and he asked how much I earned per hour. When I told him, he said "so I might end up making more than you" (let it be said that Brandon works more than twice as many hours per week than I do- my hourly wage means nothing compared to the amount of work he puts in.) I said "well, yeah, if and when you get an actuarial job you will be making about four times what I make". He said "no, if I get the promotion."

Excuse me?

Apparently he had applied for a promotion to a management position at work. It's still not a job in his chosen field but we are so thankful he has a job where he's trusted and can get so many hours. Anyway, the promotion would make him officially full time, which would mean better benefits as well as two technical raises (one for being full time, one for the promotion). And then he said nothing about it.

Tonight I was doing something in the kitchen and saw that he had brought home his work schedule for next week. His boss had written something on it in big black marker, which is no rare thing these days as he's been helping out at other stores doing inventory. I looked closer, though, and saw that the note was a reminder to wear his new uniform next week because "the promotion finally went through- congratulations".

I wonder if he would have ever told me? He's so funny.

So I am in a pretty good mood right now because I had been praying for this. The extra money will help us knock down our piles of bills a little bit quicker, and hopefully soon we can start putting back some money to buy or rent a house. Thoughts like these make me very happy, indeed.

Friday, March 18, 2011


We are connected to the world again!
Our internet started working on Wednesday night. The new phones came on Thursday. It's nice to have both again. I wasted a bit too much time on the internet yesterday but now that it's out of my system it's time to get back to chores and boring things like that.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


This is one of those days where I cannot handle one more molecule of stress.

The day started out fine, I suppose. Just the normal "I hate my neighbors"/"There's no gas in my car"/"Things are dumb" stuff, I guess.

Then my phone died.

My phone is a refurbished Blackberry. A few months ago the screen went white while I was texting and I had some weirdo error message. I have no land line. I have no internet. This makes life so much more complicated. I went to the AT&T store, had a long phone conversation with the tech support guy, and after a while he said they'd replace the phone and send me the "new" refurbished one priority shipping for free. I got the new one, and two weeks later, the same thing happened again. This time we were able to reload the software from my brother's laptop. Well, it happened again today. While no one was at my parents' house. While Brandon was out of town working in Radcliff. So I called my mom from the work phone and told her I'd call her again when Brandon got home, and that she needed to text him to tell him my phone wasn't working. Shortly after I got home, Brandon got home. His phone hasn't been working well either, lately. The difference is, his is more than seven years old (so it's to be expected). So when I was trying to make the call, his phone kept dying. I plugged it in, and it still died.

At this point I was basically losing it. I blame all this on the fact that I'm poor. We live in an apartment because we are poor(ish) and if we didn't live in the apartment I wouldn't hate the people who live near me. And also my oven probably wouldn't sit at a tilt so I could cook things on the stove properly. If we weren't poor we'd have good cell phones. Maybe really fancy ones. If we weren't poor we'd have paid my medical bills from last March off by now. If we weren't poor we'd probably have the internet, and also an OK computer. I could check the weather forecast without having to text my mom to find out if it's going to be "skirt weather". If we weren't poor we'd have a landline and cable, and our phone problems wouldn't be such a big deal. If we weren't poor I'd have a dog and I wouldn't be so lonely during the day. If we weren't poor, maybe I'd have a car whose air conditioning works and B would have a car that didn't have a busted door handle and a messed up trunk. If we weren't poor I could get the dumb nightstands I have been trying to buy for a year, and I wouldn't have to keep putting my stuff on an old end table (not that it isn't a nice, dependable end table. It's still not a nightstand. And it's even sadder that Brandon is using my beat up old night stand that has water marks on it and is missing the handle.)

There are some good things about being poor, though. We don't have credit card debt (it will take thirty years to save up for a new computer, I think.) We aren't wasting our money on cable tv when we need to spend it paying off our bills. This will pay off somewhere in the future. In the distant future. I guess.

My phone still doesn't work, though. And Jonathan couldn't fix it this time. Which means I risked my neck on a dark rainy night to come over here for nothing. Poo.

EDIT: I realize things could be so much worse. I could live in a corrugated tin shack with a dirt floor like my sponsor child, Tasya. I could be one of the millions of people who will die this year because I don't have clean water. I'm just having a bad day, and I really can't take it anymore.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Love thy neighbor. Ha!

Can I just say that I am tired of living in an apartment?

When we first moved in, things were great. The apartment below us was empty. The one across from us had a couple with a baby and a cool dog. They smoked but they properly disposed of their cigarettes. The other downstairs apartment had a couple in their late fifties and the guy's mom. They were all very nice. After about a month, though, these two college-aged guys moved in downstairs. We rarely saw them but we had a lot of trouble with them at first. They were extremely loud. One morning they played loud music from two in the morning til about five. They hung things on their walls (using a hammer) in the middle of the night. It was super annoying. But after several complaint letters they finally took the hint and settled down.
Then the older couple moved out. That apartment stayed empty for a while, until "army girl", as I call her, moved in. Army girl is not very old- maybe my age, maybe a little younger. She is married. I know this because she has about seventeen bumper stickers on her mini van saying that she is an army wife. She and her husband have a baby. For some reason, when army girl moved in, she decided to park in our half of the parking lot, rather than in the spaces right in front of her own home. Many times she had as many as four additional cars parked in our small lot (which is so obviously against the rules). She smokes, as do all the other adults who visit her apartment. They would leave cigarette butts on the ground outside their door. Then this escalated to leaving plastic drinking cups full of brown liquid and cigarette butts at the bottom of our stairs. Seriously, the fact that she smokes is gross enough (who smokes anymore?) but leaving brown cups full of crap in the stairwell? Where other people live? It was ridiculous. She still does it sometimes, but not as often as she used to.
We did get a new neighbor directly beneath our apartment, and she's all right. She has a weird name but she's friendly.
Then there's the apartment across from ours, on the second floor. The nice family that lived there moved out about a month ago and the apartment was shown several times before this new mystery family moved in. I have never actually seen anyone who lives there but they are always going up and down the stairs. They have several cars. We think they have more than they are allowed. Last night when Brandon came home, he couldn't even park in our parking lot. I have no idea where he parked. I also think these newest neighbors are perpetually drunk because the female of the group is always giggling and talking loudly as she stumbles up the steps.

In short, I am tired of apartment life. It was all right for the first year, but I am so ready to have a house. I am ready to have a yard and to decorate. I am ready to get a dog. I look forward to the day when I can take my groceries home without having to walk up a flight of stairs. I also look forward to having my own driveway, and not grumbling when someone is parked in my spot. I don't think I liked having neighbors so close to me. Maybe next year we will be living in a house instead of the apartment. And before I jinx myself, I mean living in our own house, rather than losing our jobs and having to move back in with our parents or something.