Trying to stay on budget, despite my family

My sister did me a favor. It cost me $51.

A month ago I bought new furniture. It’s pretty, durable, lovely furniture that qualifies as an investment. I opted to pay it off via a credit card instead of pulling the money out of my savings account. I did something similar last year and have nearly finished paying that off already.

Basically, I bought a new living room. A leather sofa/sleeper (queen-sized mattress), a coffee table and an end table. I also bought two chairs for my dining room set (which I bought last year), so I’d have the 8 chairs needed when I “extend” it. Obviously, I’m not going to need 8 chairs now, but I didn’t want them to discontinue the model before I bought the chairs.

These pieces of furniture replace a breakfast table, a futon, and some folding tables.

Anyway, I’ve received all my furniture except for the end table, which was on back order. Then it was in stock, but the furniture company forgot to tell me, and forgot to schedule delivery. Then we couldn’t schedule a delivery date and time that would work for me. Finally, after a lot of phone calls, we ended up with today as a delivery date. Yesterday I received a call giving me a window of delivery — 12:30-3:30pm.

I’m supposed to be at my apartment waiting for delivery. Instead, I’m at the office. Why? Because my youngest sister, Mom and the kiddo are all at my apartment waiting for the furniture delivery. They insisted on doing this for me when they found out I was going to have to work from home for a few hours to wait.

It’s a nice offer. In theory.

In reality, I had to meet them for lunch, which meant going to pick something up. My sister doesn’t drive “into town” if she’s not going to get a chance to eat out. So… she wanted Mediterranean. And I’m standing there taking her order, while she piles one thing on top of another and another. Then gives me $20 to “cover her food” — when the bill was $71. OK, so at least one item was mine. But this was money I wasn’t going to spend. I’d already prepared a turkey/spinach salad I was going to eat while waiting for the delivery. I wasn’t supposed to spend money today.


Exactly how was I supposed to say “no” to this?

the Tweets that can cost you your job

Twitter posted “5 reckless tweets that can get you fired” and it has a cautionary tale of what can happen when you don’t think twice before updating your status.

The most recent Twitter debacle comes to us from CNN’s former Senior Editor of Mideast Affairs, Octavia Nasr. [snip] CNN felt that her comments compromised her credibility as a reporter and let her go.

So, what do you need to know to avoid the same fate?

  1. Don’t tweet confidential information.
  2. Remember, defamation suits are still applicable.
  3. Don’t over-share; don’t forget that tweets are public domain.
  4. Don’t share information too soon.
  5. Don’t whine about work.

Have questions about the tips? Read the whole story.

A family wedding — staying over

I ended up spending the night at my sister’s house. That wasn’t part of the plan, but it was so late and I was so tired… it just sort of happened. Yes, I should have known it would happen, but I didn’t think that far ahead.

If I’d been smarter I would have packed a bag, but I wasn’t expecting to be at the wedding until midnight. I never thought that staying until the end was even a remote possibility, so I didn’t plan for it. As a result, I just wasn’t prepared, didn’t even have my regular “emergency” work stuff (tooth brush, makeup, brush, phone charger).

And that’s how I did end up staying the night at my sister’s house. Maybe I wouldn’t have if my mother had gone home with her instead of insisting that I drive her all the way back to my sister’s house. But Mom was having trouble getting in and out of the back of the Mommy-mobile, so she went home with me instead. And I had to look forward to an hour drive to my sister’s to drop off my Mother, then another 20-30 minutes to get home instead of just 30-40 minutes if she’d carpooled with my sister.

{{Sigh}} My Mother rarely makes things easier for me.

When I started the drive to drop my mother off, I still thought I was driving myself home afterward. When I pulled into the parking lot I realized that I was much too tired to drive more. And it just made sense for me to spend the night there. So I did.

I spent the night in my nephew’s bedroom — he never uses it, instead sleeping with his mother or mine. It’s a really comfortable bed.

So I was the one that, the next day, went to breakfast still in my dress and heels, my face scrubbed clean, my hair pulled back (thanks to my pilfering a rubber band from my mother).

And I got to go home looking like I was doing the walk of shame, when, really, it was the furthest thing from the truth.

HISD invites you to become an Apollo 20 Math Fellow

Just got this via email:

Word of mouth is a great recruiting tool, so I am inviting everyone in Houston to help HISD recruit tutors for its groundbreaking Apollo 20 school turn-around project.

To join Team HISD as an Apollo 20 Math Fellow, a candidate needs to have a bachelor’s degree and strong math skills, and like working with young people. Successful applicants will work with small groups of sixth- or ninth-grade students each school day at HISD priority schools. For their 10-month commitment to helping students to be successful, Apollo 20 Math Fellows will receive a $20,000 salary and benefits (including health-care coverage). They will also be eligible for a performance and attendance bonus of up to $5,000.

Education is key to the success of Houston’s young people and the entire Houston community. This is a great chance for you or someone you know to make a difference in our students’ lives. We are waiting to hear from you!

Terry B. Grier, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

A family wedding — at the wedding

I often forget how joyous it can be being with my family when we’re all in peaceful mode. Or maybe I let myself forget how much fun I can have when I’m getting along with everyone, and they’re all pretending to get along as well.

And, truthfully, that’s a cynical way to look at things. My family was on its best behavior. We were all looking pretty, all in a good mood, and all having fun. It was great.

I danced until I thought about taking my shoes off. I’ve done that before, most notably in my sisters’ weddings. But I refrained in this case; I showed some restraint.What I did do was nag my niece into dancing quite a bit more than she had wanted. Which, trust me, meant that she didn’t want to dance at all. We keep telling her that she’s going to have to get into the habit of dancing, since she’s having her quinceañera in a few months. She agrees and then doesn’t dance at all. In this case I gave her little choice. I kept pulling her out onto the dance floor. Her mother was giving her “dance lessons” amongst the tables while everyone else was on the dance floor (and everyone else had left). It was loads of fun.

It was great. After the year we’ve had… the years we’ve had lately, this was a wonderful family event. And the fact that was just barely family didn’t matter at all.